January 8th, 2014
08:39 AM ET

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
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(CNN) - In the past, at times like these, when his life foundered and frayed around the edges, Ryan Bell often prayed for help. But this year, at least, the pastor has resolved not to.

For the next 12 months, Bell says he will live as if there is no God.

He will not pray, go to church, read the Bible for inspiration, trust in divine providence or hope in things unseen. He’s taking the opposite of a leap of faith: a free fall into the depths of religious doubt.

Bell’s “intellectual experiment,” which began January 1, has already borne dramatic consequences.

In less than a week, he lost two jobs teaching at Christian schools near his home in Los Angeles. He’s 42 and has been a pastor or in seminary for most of his adult life. Now he faces the prospect of poverty and taking odd jobs to feed his two daughters, 10 and 13.

“There have been times, usually late at night and early in the morning, when I think: What have I done? It really undermines the whole structure of your life, your career, your family,” Bell said.

But just as the man of God began to despair, he found help from an unlikely source: atheists.

'Suspending belief '

The seeds of Bell’s journey were planted last March, when he was asked to resign as pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Hollywood.

He had advocated for the church to allow gay and lesbian leaders, campaigned against California’s same-sex marriage ban and disputed deeply held church doctrines about the End Times.

Eventually, his theological and political liberalism became more than leaders in the denomination could bear, and he lost his career of 19 years. His faith was shaken, and for a while Bell became a “religious nomad.”

On the positive side, losing his church job gave him the freedom to question the foundations of his religious belief without fear of troubling his congregation.

“I could finally pursue those questions that had been bouncing around my head,” he said, while earning money from teaching, speaking and consulting jobs.

MORE ON CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists

Then, after lunch with a friend last year, he thought: What if he tried out atheism, and lived with no religion at all for a year?

“It’s like when you go to a movie and you suspend disbelief for three hours to get inside the story,” Bell said. “I’m suspending my belief in God to see what atheism is all about.”

Bell, who still holds ministerial credentials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, thought it would be a neat little intellectual experiment.

He would interview atheists, attend gatherings of nonbelievers and read through the canon of skeptics: Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, among others.

When friends got sick, instead of praying, as was once his immediate response, Bell said, he would “do something tangible and practical and supportive for them.”

He would start a blog, “Year Without God,” and write about his faithless journey. Bell thought maybe a few people would read his posts, follow along and offer advice or criticism.

“I didn’t realize, even four days ago, how difficult it would be for some people to embrace me while I was embracing this journey of open inquiry into the question of God’s existence,” Bell wrote on Saturday.

‘We need to talk’

The first signs of trouble came around the turn of the new year, just days after Bell announced his experiment online.

Texts and e-mails arrived from friends, family and colleagues with the ominous phrase, “We need to talk.”

Kurt Fredrickson, a friend of Bell’s and associate dean of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, sent one of those messages.

Bell, a graduate of Fuller, had taught in the school’s doctorate development program for the past year. But Fredrickson told his friend that his sabbatical from faith meant a sabbatical from the seminary as well.

“From an academic standpoint, and even as a personal journey, I’m really excited about what Ryan is doing,” Fredrickson said.

"There is no honest person of faith who doesn’t have doubts, and Ryan is being courageous enough to take a step back and assess his life. This is bold stuff.”

But Bell’s job at Fuller was to help students through their doctoral dissertations, a particularly stressful time, Fredrickson said, when seminarians need to lean on a person with strong faith.

“They are flying solo for the first time, and we want to not only teach, but to nurture souls as well,” Fredrickson said. “Ryan saying he’s going to be an atheist for a year is a little contradictory to that.”

Fuller would be happy to talk to Bell when his experiment is over, the dean added.

MORE ON CNN: What Oprah gets wrong about atheism

Azusa Pacific University, where Bell had taught intercultural communication since 2011, also declined to renew his contract.

Rachel White, a spokeswoman for the school, wouldn’t comment, saying it was an internal personnel matter. But she said all school and faculty are expected to sign a statement of faith outlining their belief in Christianity.

Also this year, Bell lost a consulting job with a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale, California.

Bell said he bears no ill will toward the church or the schools that let him go, though he wishes they would tolerate, if not support, his atheism experiment. The loss of income has led to some family stress, he said.

“I have kids to support and utilities to pay and the rent is due,” Bell said. “At this point I’m willing to do almost anything.” Bell said he and his wife are divorcing, though not because of his atheist experiment.

Meanwhile, the phone calls, e-mails and texts from friends and family worried about the fate of his soul continue to pour in.

‘A beautiful gesture’

“He learned what it’s like to be an atheist real fast,” said Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger and schoolteacher in Illinois.

Mehta said he knows many atheists who fear that “coming out of the closet” will jeopardize their jobs and relationships, just as in Bell’s experience.

Mehta said he doesn’t exactly agree with the premise of Bell’s experiment. How does someone pretend to be an atheist? It’s not like a hat you wear to see if it fits. Faith taps into deeply held beliefs and emotions. Even during his experiment with atheism, won't there still be a nagging suspicion in the back of Bell’s mind that God exists?

(For the record, Bell describes his current theological views as agnostic - somewhere between belief and atheism. But he's trying to put that aside for the year to live and think like an atheist.)

Mehta said he admired Bell’s pluck and sympathized with his plight. Though he had never spoken with the pastor, Mehta set up an online fundraiser for Bell on Tuesday. In just one day, nearly 900 people donated more than $19,000 to help “the pastor giving atheism a try.”

“I think more than anything else, people appreciate that this guy is giving atheism a shot,” Mehta said. “I mean, he lost three jobs in the span of a week just for saying he was exploring it.”

Bell said he knows Christians and agnostics who have contributed to his fundraiser as well, so it’s not an all-atheist effort.

Still, he’s impressed that nonbelievers have flocked to help fund his experiment

“It really validates that the (atheist) community is really all about the search for truth,” Bell said. “They know that I might not even end up as an atheist at the end of my search, but it doesn’t matter to them. It’s such a beautiful gesture.”

Will the support tip Bell toward atheism? The pastor is agnostic about that, too – for now.

MORE ON CNN: Can atheist churches last?

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • evangelicals • Faith • Lost faith

soundoff (6,251 Responses)
  1. Testing

    Bell said. “I’m suspending my belief in God to see what atheism is all about.”

    Bell, who still holds ministerial credentials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, thought it would be a neat little intellectual experiment.

    The whole experiment is flawed from the beginning. One is an Atheist because the whole premise of a God (a Christian God in this case) is illogical and irrational. One does not become an Atheist by suspending one's beliefs anymore than a man becomes a woman by sitting down to pee.

    January 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Dude

    "For the next 12 months, Bell says he will live as if there is no God."

    you can't live as IF there is no god. THERE IS NO GOD. Everyone lives everyday with NO GOD. Those who believe gods exist are delusional.

    Also, Atheism is not a doubt. That is Agnosticism.

    Atheism is NO BELIEF.

    January 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • fvroqnz

      Faith: No Reason

      January 16, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  3. Reality # 2


    And Ryan B's "fun" has grown to $27,019 as of 7:48 AM on 1/15/2014.

    January 15, 2014 at 7:49 am |
  4. Kristin

    "But just as the man of God began to despair, he found help from an unlikely source: atheists."
    What's that supposed to mean? Atheists don't like religious people? We don't help people in need of support? We can't care for people who disagree with us? Any way I try to interpret it, that sentence sounded very condescending.

    January 15, 2014 at 6:30 am |
    • Barcs

      I hear ya. I know a lot of atheists and it's not that they don't like religious people. They just don't believe in their worldview and think they are a little deluded, which is fair considering the extreme lack of evidence.

      January 15, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • J.S.

      +1 I agree 100%. Unfortunately, stereotypes and deeply embedded stigmas are a fact of life. Even the writer unknowingly or subconsciously managed to be offensive.

      January 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  5. MN

    The Dalai Lama once said that the purpose of religion is to make the individual a better (more compassionate and wise) person. Whatever religion (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Atheism) accomplishes that purpose, is the best religion for that person.

    We can see in our daily lives that wise and compassionate people come from all religious backgrounds. Let Rev.Bell find the path that's best for him. Realize that Wisdom and Compassion transcend the limitations imposed by religious belief.

    January 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • Fred

      I don't mind you calling atheism a "religious background", because it does kinda describe what our stand is on religion, but it's a mistake to actually call it a religion. It's like someone asking you what sport you play and you responding "none". Only an idiot would still insist that "none" was still a sport, right?

      January 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The Dalai Lama once said....."Gunga...Gagunga Lunga"

      January 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
      • hadleyverse

        Wow, racist much? Let me guess–you call yourself a Christian.

        January 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Read the blog more

          He definitely doesn't.

          February 6, 2014 at 3:12 am |
    • hadleyverse

      And yet organized religion is probably the singlemost destructive thing ever invented by man...

      January 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  6. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    "There is no "demonstrative evidence" that I could provide that would convince you ."

    That is because there is no "demonstrable evidence". It has nothing to do with me, that is a "you" problem. You are the one who is admitting the source of your morality and the justification for your position is not able to be demonstrated to exist and yet continuing to make "factual" statements that are not factual. Your theological and moral positions, and even the source for these position are untenable. I don't care if you are correct in your reference to the APA, it is moot to the point that your asserted connection to "sin" is completely unfounded and therefore you are wrong to conclude it is factual. You should admit the harm you are doing to others by holding such an illogical position. That argument is no different than a creationist thinking that proving evolution false makes them right by default.

    January 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • devin


      First, a little perspective. I can count on one hand the number of years ago in which the majority of Americans in this country held the same moral position as I do. That's 230 + years of American History in which the majority accepted h o m os e xuality as immoral. Even after a decade of intentional media onslaught, almost half the population still considers it as such.You should recognize the fact that depicting my view as archaic and hate filled is both inaccurate and misguided on your part.

      Do me a favor. Please tell me your source of moral authority and exactly why it is not subjective or subject to change if I were to disagree. Please be sure to to provide only factual information that is demonstrable evidence.

      On a side note. When I started this thread I made a quote in which the term h o m o s e xuality was used. It was ancillary to my point and I had no intention in ge t ting o ff on that tangent ( no pun intended). A particular poster, who seems to have this topic as a hobby horse, was bent on making it an issue. Much like the a b o r tion issue, this particular topic is all about one's presuppositions. As a result, I tend to avoid it at all cost. I will, however, not hesitate to explain my views when thrust into the arena. Just so you know.

      January 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        The longevity of an idea does not determine its accuracy. "H0m0s3xuality" is not "the norm," but that doesn't mean people should feel justified in being bigoted against them. You teach your children to not gawk at some physical deformity that isn't "the norm," because that would be rude and wrong, so be decent, and express the same graciousness those to whom you are leaving this world to do the same with differing views on s3xuality.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        First of all devin I never characterized you as "hate filled". That was another poster in the same thread. I honestly don't think you are hate filled. I just think you are wrong. I think you are wrong to make assertions that murder, pedophilia and even adultery are in any way equatable to ANY s.ex act between consenting adults. And I could not care less if a majority of people have agreed with your position, popularity is not justification for any argument. And no I don't see this as subjective....but it is subject to change when better information is available, that is the best part. I am allowed to grow and evolve based on reason rather than having to wait until theology can catch up through rationalizing ancient scripture.

        You are always welcome to explain your views, what you have failed to do however is to rationally justify them....

        As to your question of where my morals come from...Me...they come from me. I am a moral agent that attempts distinguish right from wrong based on harm...actual harm. I try not to cause unnecessary harm to others and I also try to alleviate actual harm and suffering of others when possible. Why? Because in the end that is what helps our society...a society where my friends, my family, my children live. In the end this position benefits me and those i care about. This is all easily demonstrable as being true. Morality is about being responsable to others and ultimately to myself. Following the rules of some god is not practicing morality, it is nothing more than obedience. Morality is about figuring out the best course of action when there may not be an easy answer.

        January 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • devin


          My apologies if you did not infer or state that my motive was hate. I should have been more accurate in my accusation.

          I'm not sure how to make this any clearer. I do not equate all these practices in the way you suggest. I simply don't. The kid who st eals nickel candy is not subject to the same retribution as the man who embezzles millions of dollars. A man who practices h o m os ex ulity will not face jail time, unlike the man who k ills another or m o le sts a little boy. This fact however does not render the former moral. The consequences of immorality vary, the principle does not.

          History is replete with the consequences of individuals who trumpeted themselves as their own moral agents. It's why a man can rise to power in China, and based on his OWN morality, justify the d e a ths of tens of millions of human beings. I can assure you, were you to ask Mao Tse Tung why he carried out his deeds he would undoubtedly state that he was " being responsible to others and ultimately himself.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • devin


          Almost forgot.

          " You are always welcome to explain your views, what you have failed to do however is rationally justify them in a manner which I find acceptable to my subjective understanding of how morality is determined. " There, thought I'd fix it for you and make it accurate."

          January 14, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • Doris

          devin: "A man who practices [hom-ose-xuality] will not face jail time"

          You may evaluate it that way, based on your belief, devin, but people do face jail or worse for those practices based on their Christian belief. Recently in the news Nigeria has now following the recent legal decisions in Uganda in this regard.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • devin

          I made the assumption we were all in the context of living in the U.S.A. There are multiple Islamic countries in which you can lose a hand for stealing, something I also do not condone.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          No apology necessary, I saw the poster who accused you of being hate filled and I undertand the confusion.

          "This fact however does not render the former moral."

          It does not render it immoral either, it just pronounces that it is, you failed to demonstrate WHY it should be considered objectively immoral. Saying it is immoral because your god doesn't like it is actually more subjective...not less.

          History is replete with the consequences of groups who trumpeted their god as the ultimate moral authority. It's why a religion can rise to power in Europe and elsewhere, and based on their OWN morality, as justified by scripture and thereby justify the d e a ths of tens of millions of human beings. I don't pull out the "religion caused the deaths of millions" even though it has, except as a response to your red herring. I don't find this argument, pro or con, as conclusive for either side. I will say that if religion was actually based on a moral god, it shows the failure of said god, I would expect more from a god. You should too.

          "I can assure you, were you to ask Mao Tse Tung why he carried out his deeds he would undoubtedly state that he was " being responsible to others and ultimately himself."

          He might...but could he demonstrate it?...no he couldn't, in fact it would be easy to demonstrate that what he did was irresponsible to others and himself. Your position is based on statements of morality from an ultimate authority, sans the justification for them...not mine.

          "There, thought I'd fix it for you and make it accurate."

          Well you failed. Framing what I said as subjective does not by default make your "moral authority" objective. See the point I made about creationists and evolution. You have done nothing to demonstrate your religious morality actually comes from a god and is not actually anything more than the subjective arbitrary morality of your religion's forefathers attributed to your (their) "god".

          January 15, 2014 at 12:19 am |
        • Doris

          I'm glad you do not condone such policy, but I'm sure you can understand my refusal to put any stock in what any Christian has to say on moral issues given the ridiculously splintered interpretation of such.

          Also, my post was a bit misleading. To clarify, the ending of the first sentence should have read:
          " ..but people do face jail or worse for those practices based on the Christian belief of their oppressors..."

          January 15, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • Doris

          Blessed: "You have done nothing to demonstrate your religious morality actually comes from a god and is not actually anything more than the subjective arbitrary morality of your religion's forefathers attributed to your (their) "god"."


          January 15, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • devin


          " History is replete with groups who have trumpeted their god...." Herein lies a critical point which is the source of your confusion. You wrongly equate the actions of what men have done in the name of God with that of what God has said to do. In essence, those individuals committing a trocities in the name of God/religion are absolutely equal to someone like Mai Tse Tung in that they both are their own authority on moral absolutes. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to grasp this concept."

          " Your position is based on statements from an ultimate authority." Yes, you are exactly right, as is yours, yourself. I just find my source to be much more reliable than that of one which is mired in the human condition. Read the news, look around you Cheese, are you happy with the state of humanity and comfortable with morality being determined by human nature. I'm not, not even my own.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • Observer


          "Read the news, look around you Cheese, are you happy with the state of humanity and comfortable with morality being determined by human nature."

          No, it could be a lot better. It could also be a lot worse if we went by EVERYTHING in the Bible. We threw out the Bible's support of slavery. We got rid of some of the discrimination against women. We keep reducing discrimination against the handicapped and we are turning the tide against the IGNORANCE of bigotry against gays. We get more and more laws to protect children from abuse. So we are getting further and further away from some of the IMMORALITY in the Bible.

          January 15, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "You wrongly equate the actions of what men have done in the name of God with that of what God has said to do."

          First, the god of the bible ordered atrocities many times, god said to do them, unless your are arguing that the bible is false in those passages and I have a hard tme believing you would...but we will see.

          Second please objectively demonstrate how you know what god has said to do over what has been done in his name. There are many christians who would be happy to kill hom.ose.xuals and blasphemers, ect. and would be able to use scripture to justify their actions. I am sure you would not be one of those...but how can you prove to them you are right and they are wrong? Seems rather subjective, if it was objective I would think there should be much more of a consensus among christians.

          "" Your position is based on statements from an ultimate authority." Yes, you are exactly right, as is yours, yourself. I just find my source to be much more reliable than that of one which is mired in the human condition."

          No my position is not based on mere statements, my position is based on logic and reason. And again you claim your source to come from outside the "human condition" but fail to demonstrate that it actually is...or that it is in any way "reliable". Reliable to do 'what' exactly?

          "Read the news, look around you Cheese, are you happy with the state of humanity and comfortable with morality being determined by human nature."

          Generally speaking I think humanity has made great strides in the area of morality. We have a long way to go, but owning other people is generally aggreed to be immoral (no thanks to the bible BTW). Woman are treated far more equally than they were even 150 years ago, racial equality is generally agreed upon. The world is not the immoral quagmire christians claim it is. The world has improved and continues to improve despite many christians claims to the contrary. I can tell you one thing though, I am not comfortable with morality being determined by religion, religion has failed far too often for that.

          January 15, 2014 at 1:26 am |
      • Observer


        Do heteros engage in any "immoral" s3xual acts (not adultery)? Why doesn't God give a rip about them?

        January 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
        • devin


          Let me begin with a little disclaimer. Our last conversation seemed to degrade into somewhat of a childish banter. In that we are both adults ( I'll assume you're older than 18) let's keep it on that level. As adults, I will trust the next time I state that I honestly don't know what you are talking or asking about, you will take me at my word. Agreed?

          To your question. Let's see, in 20 + years I have committed adultery multiple times, not with a tangible woman but one in my mind (and no Cheese, there is no difference in principle here). But that's not what you asked. Okay, I guess heter os can be guilty of best i ality, but other than that and adultery I'm drawing a blank. If you are probing ( pun intended) to see if I approve of a nal s ex, the answer is NO. Now before you blow your top by no I mean NO for me. My wife and I both have the same perspective in that we find it, let's just say not our thing. If other married couples enjoy it, by all means go for it.

          The reason God doesn't give a rip about them is because He has established parameters in which s e xu al acts are a wonderful thing and parameters in which they are sinful.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • Observer


          The obvious answer to yesterday's question was that when asked what was the most important commandment, Jesus mentioned several. He talked about the Golden Rule. He talked about the s3xual sin of ADULTERY by heteros, but he did not consider commandments against gays to be worthy of inclusion. So in a CHOICE between commands against gays and the Golden Rule, the Golden Rule was obviously MORE IMPORTANT.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:19 am |
      • redzoa

        "Do me a favor. Please tell me your source of moral authority and exactly why it is not subjective or subject to change if I were to disagree."

        I can provide no source of absolute moral authority because morality is subjective and relative to a particular situation. For every claimed moral absolute, one can contrive a scenario which confounds the alleged absolute. The golden rule itself recognizes the personal subjective nature of morality. Furthermore, claiming the bible as an absolute source of morality seems tenuous at best, e.g. passages commanding the slaughter of children and infants (1 Sam 15:3). Furthermore, in light of the bible's recognition of the morality of owning foreign born slaves as personal property (Lev 25:44-46), it seems a little odd that the alleged divine law giver failed to condemn this practice when even mere mortals would eventually come to recognize the practice as morally repugnant.

        January 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          There are ways to be able to reason morality as objective (not in the usual religious sense however) without attributing it to a higher moral authority (god).

          For an analogy lets use a game of poker. If you are dealt a pair of aces there are many ways it could be argued as to how best to play the hand and those would be subjective. It can be objectively demonstrated that immediately folding that hand would be wrong. Objective secular morality can be constructed within the same general guide lines.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • redzoa

          I appreciate the Harrisesque notion of objectively determinable morality, i.e. some maximally beneficial peak within a topography comprised of interwoven variables. But, IMHO, this notion rests on two major assumptions: 1) that there is an objectively determinable preferred outcome; and 2) the weighting of particular variables (and their respective contributions to a maximal peak) can be objectively determined. I'm not a Trekkie, but I always thought Spock and Bones both had their strengths and weaknesses.

          "It can be objectively demonstrated that immediately folding that hand would be wrong."

          What if you're playing against your boss or your wife or your kid with cancer? The analogy would work very well if we could encapsulate the spectrum of human experience within similar discrete probabilities, but I'm not sure that's actually possible.

          January 15, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "What if you're playing against your boss or your wife or your kid with cancer?"

          That would be the game within the game. These are not absolutes. The analogy was not meant that way. The analogy is meant to explain that given all the the possibilities in a situation some can be objectively demonstrated to be correct, some can be demostrated to be wrong and many fall in the middle. Life is generally valued over death (not always), health is generally valued over disease, pleasure over pain, ect. Of course we can come up with situations that are exceptions to the rules but I don't see where that has to therefore infer complete subjectivity as to morals. I do agree it is "situational ethics".

          January 15, 2014 at 2:41 am |
        • redzoa

          "The analogy is meant to explain that given all the the possibilities in a situation some can be objectively demonstrated to be correct, some can be demostrated to be wrong and many fall in the middle."

          Don't get me wrong in that I believe we're generally in agreement. I'd offer the slight divergence rests on how we define and apply "objectively" (i.e. absent influence of personal feeling/opinion). Once we move beyond empirically determinable facts, we must invariably assign value judgments to possible outcomes. Even if we pool value judgments to arrive at a consensus, the individual value judgments reflect subjective positions. I'd also offer that notions of "correct" or "wrong" suggest absolutes and might be better framed in terms of "better than/worse than." But again, I'd offer we're more in agreement than disagreement, particularly with respect to whether morality requires a divine source and whether such a source could be reasonably claimed to provide an absolute source.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I think you are correct red, we are far more in agreement than disagreement. But I think this can be argued to be just as "objective" as any religious morality derived from a god can be said to be "obejective".

          January 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  7. E's! Fun Facts

    Science must be repeatable and observable.
    The Big Bang and Evolution has neither been observed or repeated.
    So it is not science, it is simply theory only.
    Until you can repeat it and observe it, it will only be a theory and not true science.

    January 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tony

      And yet predicted effects are frequently found to exist. Proof? No, not yet. Compelling evidence? You bet!

      January 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • igaftr

      False facts.
      The CAUSE of the Big Bang is the only part that has not been verified as fact. The Big Bang did happen, that is fact.
      Evolution is the basis for many industries, so yes, it is predictable, observable and repeatable.

      Your opinions are not fact.

      January 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • dev

        thats why God willed us humans to establish religions,its called faith,History always tells us that this a reality,yhe need for religious faith ,to fill the knowledge gap,thats what is not understood,but still it work,Atheist has also a role,the fiscalizer,so to speak, I am asian ,please understand my english.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
    • Jake

      I can repeatedly observe that it's impossible to walk on water, so at least through "true science", we know the bible is false.

      January 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • devin

        In keeping with the true scientific method, you would need to duplicate the task using the same hypothesis which the Bible promotes. In other words, you would need to repeat the experiment using the Son of God.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • Jake

          It's not possible to do a scientific experiment with things that don't exist. That's why religion / god and science aren't compatible.

          January 15, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • nev

          to Jake,thats true ,science and religion is not compatible,but what we are suppose to undrestand is true rea
          ity,the proven theories or facts are sciences,and the unproven ones faiths.There are still an infinite number of unproven theories thats not proven yet but we are practicing and using.like for example your ancestors are gays,so you will deny it because you are not, but maybe they were gays.

          January 18, 2014 at 5:00 am |
      • dev

        the bible could never be wrong,all religions had served their purpose in the past and present because they are part history and therefore they are all Willed by God.The necessay change or evolution of religion is just part of that process,we are now expecting for another religious faith,that is forhcoming ,the belief based in panthrothism,of course the transition will take generations to become a reality.and today we are at forefront of the process,the atheists has a major role on this.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • Jake

          I'm not sure what you mean, but we do know the bible is wrong, so...I guess your post is wrong as well.

          January 15, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • dev

          to Jake,in every era or times in the past,humans have different perception of reality,because our knowledge improves or changes toward sophistication,For example during the times of Jesus,there was no science yet as what we have today,since the religion in the past corresponds to their needs,it is true for them in the past,but today we already knew many new ideas and facts,so what is applicable in the past is no longer today,like religion ,we have also to change to conform with todays knowledge.The creation or our origin for example is now explained beyond doubt by science as the big bang and evolution is the reason we become humans,is in contrast to creation in the bibles genesis,.In its time until today ,the bible and other faiths,Islam,hinduism,and the rest are right or correct in their times because it provided the religious needs of humans in their period.The provider of all of this God himself by allowing this to happen,Now through his will a new religion,panthrotheism is forthcoming,the debates between the atheists and the theists now is ongoing,the result which will take generations to resolve will be this new religion.

          January 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "Until you can repeat it and observe it, it will only be a theory and not true science."

      Well until we can repeat the creation of our sun I will continue to bask in the glow of our solar theory.

      January 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • ME II

      @E's! Fun Facts
      You apparently don't understand science. We don't need to create a new star in order know that they are fueled by nuclear fusion.
      The repeatable tests of aspects of the Big Bang happen at places like CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
      The repeatable tests of aspects of evolution happen in biology labs around the world, like Lenski's lab and his long term e.coli study, http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/index.html.

      We don't need to repeat the entire event to understand certain aspects of it.

      January 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Webby

      "it will only be a theory and not true science."

      Look up the definition of "scientific theory" - it does not mean the colloquial connotation of "guess" or "hunch" or "speculation".

      Here's one:
      "When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative. As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

      Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. In the scientific method, there is a clear distinction between facts, which can be observed and/or measured, and theories, which are scientists’ explanations and interpretations of the facts. Scientists can have various interpretations of the outcomes of experiments and observations, but the facts, which are the cornerstone of the scientific method, do not change."
      – See more at: http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html#sthash.tOOtPn6U.dpuf

      January 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • nev

        thats why a new academic discipline now has become reality ,its called Scientific theology ,that had created the future scientific religion ,called Panthrotheism

        January 15, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
    • Fred

      "Theory" is as high as it gets in science. You're confusing it with the non-scientific use for a guess. Like a lot of people you probably think that you can reason like an actual scientist. Actual change has been observed. The science is as solid as determining the period of Pluto's orbit, which hasn't yet been observed making a single transit yet.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
    • jun

      the problem with todays interactors is ignorance of the facts of science and history,how can you repeat the big bang when the process takes billions of years,and science does not need countless repeatation or the people in Nobel Awards commitee are idots fir awrding the Nobel prize last year to Higgs for the Cern Switzerland disvovery

      January 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
  8. WASP


    if any of these christians can prove their god, i will buy into it.

    the proof i will require.....(i.e. nothing on taking things without proof; better known as faith)
    1 KINGS VERSE 30-40

    we shall create an alter just as elijah (one of god's chosen) i shall stand watching 400+ religious followers of god pray and pray for as long as they wish, days, weeks, hell even a full year.
    the only catch you can't go anywhere near the alter physically and all lighters, or other ignition sources shall be taken away.
    you all can pray and have your god light the alter, simple correct?

    he was able to do so for elijah; thus your prayer is just a valid. or aren't you all good enough to have him answer your prayer?
    jesus said if your faith is true you can have mountains throw themselves into the sea, so lighting a simple pile of water logged wood should be a breeze.

    if your god fails to show, then i reserve the right to follow verse 40.


    January 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • Kev

      1 THE Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

      2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

      3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring, O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

      4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
      (Matthew 16:1-4 KJV)

      January 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • WASP

        @KEV: hey christian freak; pop quiz.

        what part of no faith based bull don't you get?
        your bible and your god are the things in question, so trying to use your bible as proof makes you look like an ass.

        TRY AGAIN.

        oh and that makes elijah, god's chosen two things.
        1) a murderer
        2) " A wicked and adulterous" person.

        one guess to where he isn't right now. XD

        January 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Fred

          Moses also murdered an Egyptian slave master, and he was also chosen by God.

          Great judge of character that YHWH.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
    • Kev

      When Elijah made the challenge, it wasn't to show the priests of Baal and the like so that they would convert, after all when Jezebel heard what had happened to her priests, she didn't exactly convert now did she; unless you take the point about Jezebel seeking to kill Elijah as seeing the error of her ways. The purpose for Elijah's challenge was to remind his fellow Israelites who were torn in their worship between The Lord and Baal that they needed to make their choice and the demonstration was showing to them as a reminder of the promises or covenants they made with The Lord.

      So, in other words those who seek for a sign for proof of God claiming that they would then believe and convert , doesn't mean that would actually happen, and Jesus said that straight up to those seeking for a sign that even if a sign was given all that would happen is that the sign seekers would just make up some excuses, and justify to themselves that it really wasn't a sign.

      So WASP are you in the camp of being a follower that is torn between sides, or are you in the camp of full disbelief who are calling out for The Lord to show himself?

      January 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • WASP

        @kev: i'm in the camp of the samething elijah did.

        i'm using your own faith in a god to disprove your god.
        i'm allowing you to summon your god, the same as the followers of BAAL did.

        seeing only if you aren't worthy would your god not show, then it covers all bases.
        1) elijah the adulterous murderer is more worthy of your god's love and appearance
        2) your god if a fake, just like all the rest of them.

        January 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Kev

          Strange since when the signs were given that it didn't actually change the minds of the Baal priests, and since the reason for Elijah doing it had nothing to do with proving the Baal priests minds, you really don't have any frame of reference to use the sign showing challenge to disprove belief.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • WASP

          @KEV: hey christian freak; pop quiz.

          what part of no faith based bull don't you get?
          your bible and your god are the things in question, so trying to use your bible as proof makes you look like an ass.

          TRY AGAIN.

          oh and that makes elijah, god's chosen two things.
          1) a murderer
          2) " A wicked and adulterous" person.

          one guess to where he isn't right now. XD

          January 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • Kev


          What part of "faith" don't you get? About faith being the substance of things hoped for and for which the evidence is not seen? When it comes to a religious belief that requires faith, guess what does a sign showing challenge prove?

          January 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Fred

          " About faith being the substance of things hoped for and for which the evidence is not seen?"

          That "substance" can still be zero, right?

          January 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • Kev


          As far as the substance goes I do believe in God. It's not established fact, but then again that is where faith comes in. So, do you happen to know whether or not the substance amounts to zero?

          January 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • Toni

      Why would God waste his time on proving a fool that is too blind see when there is tangible proof everywhere why dont you prove that he does not exist because you say so in less than 60 yrs you will be dust and bones and then when you have your last breath you will know if he is real and when you find out he is you will spend eternity in darkness and torment for being a blasphemer and having no faith i tell you this for your own good and your familys if they have the same mentality as you my advice if you dont know something for sure keep your mouth shut and go on with your life but disrespect Jesus and things wil l not go good for you just cause it has not happened dont think it wont got is patien but when he gets mad i would not want to be in your shoes even if you where a billionaire but just this question do you see a headache , do you see love , do you see pain , sadness , being happy do you see a billion miles from here or the bottom of the ocean , center of the earth no you dont but its there but many of us have seen him , felt him , heard him , talked to him , see his power to change a destructive human being , seen him cast demons , heal,the sick answer prayer , resurrect the dead , heal the heart , the mind the body , the agony and burden and restore a mans soul just cause you cant see or hear anything does not mean its true and i can actually give you facts and biblical events that he lets us know happened and would happen to the date but why waste more time with fools thats what the bible says about people who dont think God exist wnd belive me you will find out and it will be a very bad surprise when you do ..my advice is to ask God to forgive you and ask Jesus christ help you and accept him as lord and savior

      January 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        And the winner for longest run-on sentence is.....? TONI..!!!

        Way to go Toni.!!!

        January 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • Lynne

          I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out that there isn't...then live my life believing there isn't a God and die to find out there is!!

          January 16, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Kristin

          So you believe in Pascal's Wager. There are several problems with living Pascal's Wager. I will address the two I can recall.
          1. By choosing to believe in God, how do you know the God you're believing in is the right one? What if you choose wrong? Then you're still condemned to whatever fate befalls you in the afterlife (if there is one).
          2. In order for you be a true believer, you might be required to be a true believer. How do you know you will receive God's gifts in whatever afterlife if you are merely pretend to believe in him as a safety valve, instead of being sincere?

          January 16, 2014 at 10:43 am |
      • bushgirlsgonewild

        I'll convert if you can say that all in one breath.

        January 20, 2014 at 12:41 am |
  9. Prayer Leads To Obesity

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise. Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer messes up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid stuff.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer wastes time.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:21 am |
    • nev

      try Panthrotheism

      January 14, 2014 at 9:32 am |
      • igaftr

        Panthrotheism is the belief that Panthro from the thundercats is a god....otherwise the word does not exist, no matter how many times you try to invent it.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Of course Panthro was a god! What are you, a heathen?

          Thundercats, HO!

          January 14, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • dev

          igaftr,yes you are right cats and all the animals in the world including you is part of the universe,eveything is God,it took Him 13.7 billion years for us to arrive what we are now,meaning the true reality of our existence,you are probably less than 50 years old,so how can you expect to equate yourself or pretend to understand Him,God Who is 13.7 billion years old.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • igaftr

          simple. I know the minds of men, and men created god.
          Men have created thousands of gods, yours is no different.
          Men create gods in response to his own ignorance, so no one can know god. The concept of what "god" is is as different as the person imagining a god.

          How could you possibly study god, or make the claims you have made, when you cannot even show that any god actually exists...that is a hypothesis based on speculation, with NOTHING as a basis.

          You are just as likely to find your god, as to find out that Panthero is god....equal chances.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • dev

          in panthrotheism ,the origin of the universe is energy,This is proven last year after the God particle or Higgs boson was confirmed in the CERN laboratory in Switzzerland confirming the Big Bang theory of creation,we can call anything,the Energy at singularity point of origin, I can even call Him hypothetically IGAFTR,thhough his will he decided to manifest himsellf to become matter ,and the big bang happened.and after 13.7 billion years we are now what we are,The fact is that this really had happened and most if not all the best mind of science confirmed this.so His name and attributes is just a matter of semantics,So from now on I can call my God ,IGAFTR my creator and saviour

          January 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • igaftr

          You have made one grave error.

          You have anthropomorphized energy.
          And just because you created a term does not mean others will use it. To me, in means you worship Panthro.

          January 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • dev

          to ihaftr,thats why we have to make a paradigm shift in our concept of Who is God from dualism ,meaning He is separate from us to Holism,one with Him,This is very significant this shift for it will have a profound effect on the development of our concsience,Social responsibility and even altruism will be high virtue in this level of consciousness.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
      • Billy

        No. I don't do isms with that many syllables. Plus, I'm a little allergic to candles, incense, and most new age music.

        January 14, 2014 at 9:38 am |
      • Stairway lyrics

        And if you listen very hard, the truth will come to you at last, when all is one and one is all, to be a rock and not to roll.

        January 15, 2014 at 5:49 am |
        • inday

          dokdokon ko hinoon ko na sa bato ulo nimo ,mahibalo ka nga sakto ko

          January 18, 2014 at 5:16 am |
    • macarter

      Prayer lead to deliverance
      prayer leads to being comfort
      prayer leads to a peace of mind
      prayer leads to having confidence in knowing that He hears you.
      prayer leads to being obedient to our heavenly Father
      prayer leads to trusting in Him with all of your heart and leaning not to your own understanding
      prayer leads to seeking him with all your heart mind and soul
      prayer leads to having hope
      prayer leads to strengthening your faith
      prayer leads to knowing the way the truth and the life
      prayer leads to crying Abba Father in the time of need
      These things and others is what prayer leads to. There are so many thing that we go through in this life. That is why we should pray (talking to God) without ceasing. Rather you see it or understand it or accept it at all. I know He is worthy of praise honor and glory. Simple as that my friend.

      January 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        Prayer leads to a NON dealing of your issue. Prayer leads to supression and depression and a non realisation of your own issues. Prayer leads to non thinking and avoidance...ask for forgiveness instead of admitting ownership etc etc etc...and it's all a deslusion...there is no one there. You know that little voice inside your head...that's really you.....

        January 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Peanut gallery

          Prayer is something that takes place in someone's own head, and telling someone they either can't or that they have too is pretty invasive.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • J.S.


          January 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  10. Bob Wood

    This the first time I've ever heard of "unconversion." I agree, though, it's better to be all the way out then only half way out. Fewer people will be misled!

    January 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
  11. Dandintac

    Something that I think is missing from this conversation is the fact that all too many Christians will seek to PUNISH people who stray from the faith. If they have the opportunity, many Christian bosses will fire atheist employees, Christian landlords will evict atheist tenants, Christian coaches will kick atheist kids off the team. My last boss was a conservative Christian, and I have not the slightest doubt that if she had found out I was an atheist she would have fired me so fast I wouldn't have had time to clean out my desk. Here's another example below.

    Bell's termination is part of a long Christian tradition. Fortunately Christians are no longer able to burn us, but they still attempt to intimidate, punish and coerce.

    January 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
  12. Djay

    I think it's a really great experiment. I myself am a catholic, but if anyone were to have a theological argument, they have to have a deeper understanding of all sides. In the past, many great theologians lived as atheists for a number of years (king Solomon, Augustine of Hippo). Though I cannot assume the same will result will come out of it, I do commend Bell for giving it a try, and wish him the best of luck to find his true faith.

    January 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Thank you for admiting religious faith is completely subjective.

      January 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • Riddle me this

        Yes, but subjective data is not dismissed as evidence only filed as "subjective". I'm checking my earlier post about magnetic fields and the temporal lobe, and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Saying we are affected by sound waves or magnetic fieids is one thing...and can be demonstrated to be true....claiming they imbedded messages from aliens is another. They could have messages...when would it be reasonable to believe it though?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Barcs

          It's called evolution. We are connected to our environment, which includes the earth and it's magnetic shield. Birds and other animals have a connection to it as well. It's how birds know where to migrate to, and how some animals have that "6th sense" about weather patterns and other trouble. Our emotions are also affected by the ionosphere. So if you look at it objectively. Our emotions are connected to the magnetic field, creatures are affected and connect to it and rely on it for survival, and animals can often sense human emotions based on this same connection. It's not magic, it's science.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Barcs

          This is also why humans can seemingly control weather at times, why sadness brings more rain, etc. Emotions / weather / animals survival mechanisms. They are all linked. There is still quite a bit we do not know about the ionosphere, but check out HAARP if you are interested in how weather can be manipulated. Granted humans can't literally control weather with emotions, but enough people feeling a certain way could have a slight affect on weather patterns. I'm not making this up. We are very connected to the earth we live on.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • nev

      this is the evolutionary process that will lead to Panthrotheism in the future beyond our lifetimes,the internet will be the future medium of change.

      January 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
      • False prophet.

        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 🙂 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        January 14, 2014 at 9:52 am |
      • Chikkipop


        Try getting out of the house more.


        January 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
  13. oo oo

    I were dirty, sinful, evil creature and because of that I felt guilty.

    u were. R

    January 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • Dot

      Now, you took her statement out of context; you are deliberately bearing false witness.


      January 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
  14. oo oo

    austin, y did pharisees murder him? loa? lie4him?

    January 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • Austin

      I am no prophet. there is a difference between a prophet and the spiritual gift of prophecy. the gift is on a different level.

      Acts 2:17Acts 2:17 (New International Version)
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      Acts 2:17

      New International Version (NIV)

      17 “‘In the last days, God says,
      I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
      Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      your young men will see visions,
      your old men will dream dreams.

      ◄ Joel 2:28 ►
      Parallel Verses
      New International Version
      "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

      the reason for the spiritual gift is for the edification of the Church.

      January 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
      • sam stone

        you are not a prophet, but you have the gift of prophecy?


        January 14, 2014 at 6:20 am |
  15. oo oo

    austin, i said u were a phoney. loa, 2. lie4him, and more.

    i said each "former xtian" was a liar. they proved me right, again. and more. perfect record. what did the abrahamic god do to false prophets? that's right

    January 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
    • Dot

      How odd. None of the people you have named are former Christians; it is obvious by their posts they are practicing Christians right now.

      Why would you call them names unnecessarily?

      January 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • 00 00


        January 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
  16. Riddle me this

    Okay atheists what if (and I do mean "what if" there were aliens that could communicate with us by altering the magnetic fiends around us. (Note this actually does affect our temporal lobe and an affected temporal lobe produces spiritual experiences). What if that was the only way we had to perceive these beings?

    January 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Well, this is definitely one of the oddest, ill-conceived, and ironically misspelled versions of Pascal's Wager that I've seen.

      January 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • Riddle me this

        It's not Pascal's wager, and I just said "beings". Yes I have an issue with dyslexia, honestly I can admit that. It doesn't change the question. At any rate if you change the magnetic field around someone's temporal lobe it produces religious experiences, so when someone is having an experience, what is causing it?

        January 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • redzoa

          @Riddle me this

          You might find the following podcast interesting. It discusses some research relating "magic mushrooms" to religious experiences. Like you mention, we can replicate many aspects of religious and near-death experiences with drugs or other neurological manipulations. However, what I don't see is any empirical physical evidence supporting a supernatural or extra-terrestrial etiology for these experiences.


          January 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
    • Syntax Error 194

      Unbalanced parentheses or other grouping delimiter.

      January 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Well the aliens would be manifesting their message in realty (the magnetic field) and therefore it could be tested and verified, as well as the message should be consistent right? We have none of that from religion.

      January 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
      • Riddle me this

        Maybe not from religion but do we have any of it anywhere?

        January 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It is possible, but at what point would it be reasonable to believe it?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
      • Riddle me this

        Even sound can affect us high and low frequencies. The average person (me for example) knows so little about it we may never be able to get a clear message.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          What would lead you to believe there is a message at all?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
    • panthrotheist

      the lively interactions in the net is becoming more interesting,it is now clear that it can be conveniently resolve,the Conflict of interpretation of ideas and faith if the Panthrotheistic approach will be adapted.

      January 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • Dandintac

      While we're on the subject of aliens, riddle me this instead.

      Given that the Milky Way alone has hundreds of billions of stars, and there are many hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions of galaxies in the universe, and there may even be multiple universes, it is statistically certain that at least a few percentage of those trillions of stars will host some intelligent life. Even a tiny percentage would be millions of civilizations.

      Presumably these millions of alien civilizations would be filled with imperfect sinners also, since they are not god–right?

      Sooo–does Jesus have to go to each planet and get nailed to the cross over and over again to save the inhabitants of each planet from eternal damnation?

      If so, I take back everything I ever said about Jesus's death not being a real sacrifice, and how many other people have actually suffered far more.

      For Muslims–how to these alien species know which direction to turn and face Mecca to pray? Especially given the stupendous distances involved?

      January 13, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
      • Riddle me this

        That's a good question. I really don't know the answer. I'd assume other civilizations would have other gods, but again I don't know.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
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About this blog

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