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Can you really 'try on' atheism for a year?
Ryan Bell's "year without God" experiment has drawn a wealth of comments, from scornful to supportive.
January 14th, 2014
01:20 PM ET

Can you really 'try on' atheism for a year?

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Ryan Bell, a one-time Christian pastor, says he didn't expect his yearlong experiment with atheism to get much attention.

"This wasn't intended to be an international journey that was done in public," he told CNN's Brooke Baldwin last Wednesday.

But what began as Bell's personal project has now been covered by NPR, the BBC, Religion News Service, and, of course, here at CNN.

READ MORE: Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000

It's not just the mainstream media that are along for the ride, either. Dozens of blogs and columnists have weighed in on Bell's "Year Without God," with responses ranging from support to skepticism to scorn.

Sikivu Hutchinson, a writer who has criticized the lack of racial diversity in the the atheist community, called Bell's foray into atheism "secular tourism."

"Bell joins a jam-packed, largely white, mostly Christian cottage industry of religious leaders who are capitalizing off of untapped reserves of atheist dollars, adulation and publicity by jumping onto the 'maverick ex-pastor' bandwagon," Hutchinson wrote in a recent blog post.

PZ Myers, an American scientist and prolific blogger on atheism, echoed Hutchinson's comments, and called Bell's experiment "simply ridiculous."

"It’s not a set of superficial practices, it’s a mindset," Myers said of atheism. "What’s he going to do at the end of the year, erase his brain?"

Since the responses have been so varied - and so interesting - we wanted to know what other thinkers and scholars have to say about Bell's experiment with atheism.

In short, we asked a whole bunch of smart folks if it's really possible to "try" atheism for a year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we got a wide variety of answers (The old adage about "three rabbis, four opinions" seems to apply to atheists as well.)

Some of these submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

Catherine Dunphy, executive director of The Clergy Project 

It would be accurate to say that some of our members tried similar experiments, though in a much less public fashion and for a shorter period of time before leaving their faith.

For myself, it was in stages. First, I decided to just stop praying and see what would happen.  Then I stopped going to church, and finally I decided that the idea of God just didn't make sense.

It was like learning to swim with "water wings." Eventually I realized I could float all by myself.

Testing the atheism waters, is in many ways an intellectual process but it is also intrinsically linked to emotion. God is often seen as a surrogate parent, a protector, a supporter. Untangling oneself from this type of over arching narrative is never easy.

Bell should be applauded for his attempt to ask the hard questions. Whether he'll be a theist or atheist on the other side of this journey, I don't know. But it is a good thing that he is wondering.

Penny Edgell, sociology professor, University of Minnesota 

What Bell is doing makes a sense if you remember that it is through daily practice that we become the people we are.  Meditation, daily prayers and devotions ... these are how people become Christian, Muslim, a believer of any kind.

And it's not just religion; there are all kinds of practical, self-help guides to being a better mom, a better husband, a more passionate lover, etc., all of which focus on doing the things that a better mom, husband, or lover would do until you a) feel more momly, husbandly, loverly feelings and b) it becomes a habit to act in the appropriate role-enhancing way.

So there is no reason to be skeptical about Bell's experiment.  Quite the opposite - it may work, and more profoundly than he anticipates.  A year is a long time, and if he really spends that year doing the things an atheist would do, he may not only act like an atheist, but feel like one, and in that union of action and feeling, find that he has become one.

Paul Fidalgo, spokesman, Center for Inquiry 

I think there is at least potential for profound personal and political implications to the discoveries Bell may make in his experiment.

Many people in times of crisis put a great deal of hope in the idea that God will come through, or execute a plan that makes sense of it all. But what happens when the mental and emotional energy that goes into prayer and wishing were put toward something more concrete?

Bell’s experiment won’t settle the religion-versus-nonreligion debate by any stretch of the imagination.

But he might help us to understand what powers we sacrifice when we spend less of ourselves on entreaties to an unknowable being, and direct those energies toward dealing with the real world, as it is, right now.

Dale McGowan, author of "Parenting Beyond Belief" and "Atheism for Dummies"

Trying atheism is not only possible, it’s a very common step out of religious belief. The comedian and author Julia Sweeney called it “putting on the No-God glasses” to see what the world looks like when you stop assuming a god is running things.

A lot depends on how serious and honest someone is in the experiment. There’s a tendency to scramble back to old explanations at the first snap of a twig or the first feeling of wonder.

But those whose will to know is stronger than the will to believe usually find their way out. And when they do, the most common emotion they describe isn’t the anguish and despair they were told to expect — it’s freedom and relief.

Dave Muscato, spokesman, American Atheists 

I think what Ryan Bell is doing is a great thing. It's important to try to see other points of view so that you can have a better understanding of why other people don't believe the same things that you do. I don't think it's quite possible to try on the absence of belief the way he's intending to, though.

If Bell has made the choice to drop faith in superstition in favor of what the evidence shows, then he can understand the atheist experience. If he is holding on, he's not doing what an atheist does. He's simply not practicing his religion. I would say that a better name for this would be a lapsed Christian, not an atheist.

An atheist is an active role, not a passive one. We don't simply stop reading the Bible and stop praying and stop going to church. We love the process of learning and exploring answers.

Instead of resorting to "God did it," atheists are comfortable saying "I don't know, but I'm going to find out." That's where the fun starts; it means we're on the right path to finding the real answers to our questions.

David Myers, professor of psychology, Hope College 

In my book, "A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists," I quote the Christian author C. S. Lewis:

"Believe in God and you will have to face hours when it seems obvious that this material world is the only reality; disbelieve in Him and you must face hours when this material world seems to shout at you that it is not all. No conviction, religious or irreligious, will, of itself, end once and for all [these doubts] in the soul. Only the practice of Faith resulting in the habit of Faith will gradually do that.”

Indeed, psychological science confirms that attitudes and beliefs tend to follow behavior.  Act as if you believe—or don’t—and in time your beliefs may shift toward your actions.

Mitchell Stephens, author, "Imagine There’s No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World"

I admit to being uncomfortable with the notion of “trying” atheism.

Can you try to have a conviction? And atheism, unlike religion, is not something that is simply accepted on faith. It presumes to be the result of reasoning and investigation. Limiting the experiment to a year also seems a bit artificial: that reasoning and investigation should never end.

Perhaps by “trying,” however, Bell means allowing yourself to be open to arguments that challenge your convictions. That certainly is noble. And the reading list of atheists and some of the West’s great questioners Bell has assigned himself is impressive. I would hope that nonbelievers would be as eager to confront the ideas of Kierkegaard or Dostoevsky.

Doubt, too, is noble. Surely, there is enough of it recorded in the gospels. Bell deserves credit for exploring rather than suppressing his doubts. He seems a thoughtful and courageous man. It is easy to imagine this being a rich and rewarding year – or lifetime.

It is a shame that some of Bell’s co-religionists are not better able to tolerate this exercise in openness and doubt. Perhaps that is one of the limitations of resting convictions upon faith rather than reasoning and investigation.

Merold Westphal, philosophy professor, Fordham University 

I think it is possible to "try" either atheistic unbelief or theistic belief to see if it "fits" in the sense of doing the practices that go with the position - praying or not praying, going to church or not going to church, reading the Bible or not reading the Bible, etc.

But I very much doubt that it is possible to suspend belief in the sense Bell suggested.

We do get caught up in the world of a movie and feel, for example, real anxiety. But then someone coughs or talks and we remember that what we are watching and hearing is fiction and the real world is the one where I'm sitting in a theater. We haven't ceased to believe, and the sense in which we have temporarily suspended belief (for an hour or two, not for a year) depends on powerful external  aids.  I'm not sure ceasing the practices of faith can have the same result, especially over so long a time.

Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokesperson, Secular Coalition for America  

I'm not exactly sure how you would "try" it, because atheism is not a religion with rituals and obligations (attending church, fasting, not eating pork, etc).

Either you believe or don't believe. If you're on the fence, I would say you're an agnostic, not "trying" atheism.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Faith • Lost faith • Nones • Spirituality

soundoff (3,260 Responses)
  1. mzh

    you may think that 'a year without God' but you have been promised with few things.... one of which is your life time and your sustenance.... no matter what you say or do, you will live as much time as you have been given when your mom conceived with you my friend... no one can take a fraction of second away or add with it...

    6:2 – He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a specified time. And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected), yet you doubt (in the Resurrection).

    6:3 – And He is Allah , [the only deity] in the heavens and the earth. He knows your secret and what you make public, and He knows that which you earn.

    Peace...

    January 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
    • Jeff

      Oh, stop. I think he would choose atheism over Islam.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • mzh

        Thats his choice Jeff... who am i to stop? or why would i stop? i have not been taught to do that... "there is not compulsion in accepting religion – 2:256"...

        I think people get a wrong impression when they come across anything related to Muslim or Islam... and i sometimes blame myself and us the muslim community... but hey there are evil minded people in everywhere regardless of faith... wouldn't you agree? what is NOT correct is to blame or accuse the entire community for some people actions....

        So peace...

        January 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Jeff

          It is his choice. And I don't think throwing Quran verses isn't going to change his, any more than Bible verses would change yours.

          January 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • Jeff

          And if you think that people get the wrong impression of your religion, say like the Sunni vs Shia violence and bloodshed, perhaps the adherents should do something like, oh, I don't know, STOP KILLING EACH OTHER. And making the whole ME one big battleground.
          You, I don't care about...you're probably perfectly peaceful. It's the adherents yelling jihad and Allah Akbar while blowing people up that Is giving you peaceful Islam the bad name.

          So knock off the attempt at a guilt trip, when your brethren are the ones causing the trouble , not I.

          And I STILL think he'd choose atheism over Islam, should he turn back to religion.

          January 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you Jeff...

          Whats going on around the earth is not known to us.... what we know what we see on the media... but again i am not the one to judge...

          Peace...

          January 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • Can't speak for Jeff, but

          What YOU know is from the media. Sorry you don't have a clue, frat boy. It's known to me, smart boy. I served.

          You truly need to go see what is going on over there before you open your mouth. I can judge, because I know.

          What the media reports isn't HALF of what that cesspool is like. Stuff your religion. It sucks.
          Your attempts to sound wise and sage is a total fail. PBUH, my ass. Peaceful, my ass.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
    • Myles

      You do realize that medical science has nearly tippled the human lifespan, right? So, in fact, yes we can (and do, daily) freely manipulate the amount of time we're on earth.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
      • mzh

        no matter how long you live, you will taste the death one day...

        since this life time has not been informed to anyone, one can say whatever he or she pleases with...

        January 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • Ted

          mzh, your islamic claptrap is shallow and ignorant as usual.

          In the present case, you don't actually know for certain that lifetimes won't be extended indefinitely. Research on aging as well as on artificial replacement parts is progressing, and we also are increasingly moving towards being able to put organisms in stasis. We may one day be able to "pause" life, and much more.

          Please stop trying to recruit others to your religion of terror here. Your entire worldview is limiting, ignorant, and stupid.

          January 15, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • Span.k Your Imam

      mzh, do not be spewing thusly so voluminously without prior vigorous spanking of backside of yourself and closely adjacent imam.

      It is written, no more shall prodigious humping of imams and goats be accomplished without sanctified vestal goats present. We have ready goats present nearby in Tehran to satisfy said requirements. Prepare yourself for red posteriority and take the appropriate stance. If Allah is willing your soreness will eventually subside and you may get back to riding your camel and your usual monkey spanking so profusely.

      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      Said thricely. Pay attention even in your red blushness of present moment.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • mzh

        Thank you Span.k for you copy and paste...

        I hope you feel happy 🙂

        January 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Once again putting the hammer to mzh's comments:

          What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

          And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

          The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

          Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

          Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

          Until then, no Muslim to include mzh can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

          January 14, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you R....

          I still wish all the bests for you...

          Peace...

          January 15, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And again wanting the best for all of our sisters and brothers of Islam:

          From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

          The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

          ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

          Are you ready?

          Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

          The First Five of the 77 Branches:

          "1. Belief in Allah"

          aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

          "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

          Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

          "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

          A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

          "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

          Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

          Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

          Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

          "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
          be upon him) alone."

          Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

          Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

          Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

          Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

          January 15, 2014 at 7:29 am |
  2. mzh

    What makes you for sure that you will live for a year?

    January 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • Jeff

      Are you threatening him?

      January 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
      • Jane

        That is generally what muslims do to "infidels". They kill them, or threaten to.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Jeff

          True, that.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • Austin

          Hes right though, the white horse judgment, and then Satan persecuting the world wide system of false religion, would be a serious reason to ask yourself,

          what if I die tonight?
          are you saved by Name and the Blood ?

          January 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • mzh

          You got it wrong Jane... please visit Morocco and you will see Jews are living there under Muslim king and they do not want to be even called as "-Is-r-a-e-l-i Jew"... i am sure you did not know....

          I wish you good life....

          January 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • mzh

          @ Austin:

          I am glad at least you were not agreed with Jane...

          Peace my friend...

          January 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          "are you saved by Name and the Blood ?

          free people don't need to be saved

          only those who believe they have sinned need this salvation nonsense

          January 15, 2014 at 5:32 am |
        • G to the T

          "what if I die tonight?
          are you saved by Name and the Blood ?"

          If I do and he is, then he already knows that I've been nothing but honest in my search. If that's not good enough then I guess I'm damned.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • igaftr

          Jane
          Whatever you do, do not visit Morocco, especially if you are single.
          All a man has to do is ra.p.e you , and then he will have to give your father 50 sheckles of silver and then you will be forced to marry your ra.p.ist. This is because of the stain YOU get when you are not pure. Ridiculous I know, but under both Islam, and Christianity, this is still practiced there. avoid Morocco, especially if you are a single woman.

          January 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • mzh

        Nope... why would i threaten... I am just saying... death does not need any age and it could come anytime... no one knows the lifetime given to us... and we all have to taste the death but whey that is not known to anyone except the one who created.... but I wish him good health and long life my friends...

        3:185 – Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

        Peace be upon all of you...

        January 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • urnotathinkerareu

          That is correct and you are entrenched in your deslusion up to the eye brows...lol

          January 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • Span.k Your Imam

          mzh, do not be spewing thusly without prior vigorous spanking of backside of yourself and closely adjacent imam.

          It is written, no more shall prodigious humping of imams and goats be accomplished without sanctified vestal goats present. We have ready goats present nearby in Tehran to satisfy said requirements. Prepare yourself for red posteriority and take the appropriate stance. If Allah is willing your soreness will eventually subside and you may get back to riding your camel and your usual monkey spanking so profusely.

          Here it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and must be so.
          Said thricely. Pay attention even in your red blushness of present moment.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • mzh

          what you just said its not something new my friend... these types of t-itles have been given to anyone who believed during any prophe-ts since the be-ginning... so i am not really surprised... but hey you never know... you might change the course of your life tomorrow... that i believe...

          I wish you all the bests...

          January 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • mzh

          Hello my friend Span.k...

          How are you doing?

          January 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • Span-k Your Imam

          mzh, , do not be s-p-ewin-g thu-sly volum-inously without prior vigorous spanking of backside of yo-ursel-f and closely adjacent imam.

          It is written, no more shall prodigious humping of imams and goats be accomplished without sanctifi-ed vestal goats pres-ent. We have ready goat-s present nearby in Tehran to satisfy said requirements. Prepare yourself for red posteriority and take the appropriate stance. If Allah is willing your soreness will eventually subside and you may get back to riding your camel and your usual monkey spanking so profusely.

          Here it is wr-itten and must be so.
          Her-e it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and m-ust be so-.
          Said thricely. Pay attention even in your red blushness of present moment.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
    • Austin

      I can kindof relate to the apostle Paul, I drove my truck through a church and then God opened my eyes to His presence. I finkd this topic about the different perceived notions about what the trinity REALLY IS. Is it 3 different gods? or is the full manifestation of God able to incorporate different forms and purposes? like H20

      Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”

      January 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
      • Austin

        I can also relate to the guys that flew the planes into those buildings. God told me to.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • mzh

          @ Austin:

          What about hundreds of thousands of human got killed in crusade, hiroshima, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan and so on...?

          I did not want to say these but thought to remind you my friend...

          Peace...

          January 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'mzh' is an instance of the Two Wrongs Make a Right fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          January 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
      • Austin

        find it interesting

        H20 solid liquid gas they are all H20

        why is it impossible for a muslim to believe that God is limited to your brains decision?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • Jeff

          Gas water? Really??

          January 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • Austin

          vapor oh my gosh vapor.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • mzh

          Austin:

          why is it impossible for a you to believe that you came out of your mom's womb and then were a child and then a young boy and then now perhaps grown man and then you will enjoy the old age and then you face the end of your life and then you go back to the one who created you for raise for accountability? did you know that you would be what you are today? or do you know where or what you would be in the future?

          Peace...

          January 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'mzh' is essentially a form of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • sam stone

          because god only exists in man's brain, austin

          January 15, 2014 at 5:34 am |
      • James K

        Austin
        Trinity being like water in its three forms doesn't work because the exact same water can't be ice, liquid and steam at the same time like. God doesn't take turns just being the Father, Son or HS, does he?

        January 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
      • mzh

        Austin:

        About trinity:

        O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, ("Be!" – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: "Three (trinity)!" Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs. – 4:171

        Peace....

        January 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • Anthony Crispino

      Are you talkin to me?! I don't already. I could slip on a cheese steak and get run over by a bus just like that. Although cheese steaks don't just lie around forever if you know what I mean. If it's a whole one, a rat the size of Dolly Parton's feeders will be on it in no time. Why do you wanna know? Have those guys over on 104th street been sayin somethin I should know?

      January 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • mzh

        I remember watching cnn few years ago, somewhere in nyc, a high stories building was under construction and the workers were working on the top of the building and 2 guys fell... one die instantly and the other one broke his bones... and you know what he said? he said it was his time and not mine....

        so, no matter what you do, you can not add or delete a fraction of second in your lifetime given my friend...

        also how many times a doc gives up over a patient and tells to the relatives that we did all we could now pray to God Almighty...

        you want more my friend....

        how many times a doc gives the same medication to 2 person having same symptoms and one does work and the other body does not...

        and many more...

        my apologies if i misunderstood what you meant by your posting...

        peace...

        January 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • G to the T

          So you've spent most of page to explain that nobody knows exactly when they are going to die.

          Is there something you are leading to after establishing this amazing fact?

          January 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Topher

    Austin, is that us?

    January 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
    • Topher

      Fake Topher ... just keep demonstrating the untrustworthiness of your worldview.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
      • Austin

        Topher, was the church that we drove our truck into unworthy?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • Austin

          Sorry Topher, my friend.

          Moses killed someone.. David killed someone. Paul the apostle organized the killings of Christians. Austin , thats me, a successor to the apostle Paul of the Lord Jesus Christ, I drove my truck through a church.

          I was rejecting the sin theory, and then after that God opened up my eyes to supernatural truth. Thank you God!

          Jehovah Jireh
          The Lord our Provider

          Romans 5:8 ►

          But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • Topher

          We Christians excel at killing people. The bible tells us how. Check out the inquisitions. Heck, our god has even killed millions.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Austin

          @fake topher,

          can you tell me what scripture the inquisitions were ordained by to kill people? or were they apostate blasphemers?
          I can tell you what scripture clearly reveals the accurate choice for you to run your mouth or not.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Ben

          Austin
          Do you mean that you deliberately drove a truck through a church in order to damage it?

          January 14, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
      • sam stone

        And you continue to demonstrate the delusion of yours, gopher

        January 15, 2014 at 5:38 am |
  4. Austin

    Topher is that me?

    January 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
    • Atheist

      Stop it. You are only proving trolls can be atheists, too.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • Jeff

      Knock it off, Apple Bush. You're acting like an ass.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
  5. Ah

    evolution proves there is no religious god. Like a god is going to wait for man to pop out of evolution?
    wow,, what kind of god is that

    January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
    • Topher

      Evolution is a fairy tale that even science rejects.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • Ah

        I see,, viral mutations are real either, huh

        January 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Topher

          I'm sure they're real. But that doesn't prove evolution.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • Ken

          Viruses MUTATE. That's what evolution is.

          January 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
      • Austin

        Topher, is that me? We like fairy tales don't we.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Atheist

          Is this me, an atheist? Posting under other people's names? I thought I could be good without God. FAIL.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Christianity makes me so good that I recklessly drive my heavy vehicles into churches.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Austin

          Romans 5:8 ►
          Parallel Verses
          New International Version
          But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • sam stone

        show us where "science" has rejected evolution, gopher

        January 15, 2014 at 5:39 am |
    • Krattenmaker

      Despite the way it's often discussed by creationists and anti-religion zealots, evolution says nothing about the existence of God. A scientific concept backed by an overwhelming amount of supporting evidence, evolution describes a process by which species change over time. It hazards no speculations about the origins of that process.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
      • Topher

        There's NO evidence for evolution.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • Krattenmaker

          There's also no evidence for God.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • Topher

          That's subjective. I've weighed both sides and found the evidence FOR God is more compelling than that against.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • Sue

          Baloney, Topher, you conniving con artist. The National Geographic here summarizes some of the vast amount of evidence for evolution:

          http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0411/feature1/fulltext.html

          Go stuff yourself, you deceitful ignoramus!

          January 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Topher

          Oh darn. I better go drive my truck into another church now.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Topher

          Does that article demonstrate a change of kinds?

          Does it explain how an animal can become something different when it only has the genetic information to be the animal that it currently is?

          Does it then show where this added information comes from when we only see losses?

          And finally, does it show evidence of "evolution" being testable, repeatable and demonstrable? Because that's the scientific standard, and if it's not, you have to conclude science rejects it.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          got a tailbone, gopher?

          January 15, 2014 at 5:41 am |
        • sam stone

          Did you read the article, gopher, or just dismiss it out of hand?

          Even if evolution was proven false, that does not mean god exists, much less your god.

          Somewhere along the line, someone convinced you that you were a sinner in need of salvation and, like a good little sycophant you fell to your knees and began begging for forgiveness

          if you want to believe that, fine

          but, your preaching is dumb.

          the only thing you are convincing anyone of is that you cannot put together a rational argument if your life depended on it

          and now you are going to infect your innocent (i know you are going claim the babble says that no one is innocent, but fvck your and your bible) child with your delusion

          coward. if you feel you are deserving of hell, stand up like a man and take it.

          January 15, 2014 at 5:49 am |
        • G to the T

          "Does that article demonstrate a change of kinds?" And here we reach an impasse. "Kind" is not a scientific classification. So unless we can get a definitive understanding of what "kind" entails, it would be impossible to provide you evidence as the goal posts could just be moved ad nauseum.

          January 15, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • redzoa

          Evidence for evolution off the top of my head: the progressive fossil record with no fossils observed out of order (particularly good representation of the hominid lineages); observation of transitional/intermediate forms bearing cross-over features between major vertebrate classes; phylogenetic analyses of extant and extinct forms which confirm the lineages observed in the fossil record; observation of novel functionality via mutation (e.g. Lenski's E. coli, Pod Mrcaru lizards); observation of speciation events; observation of evolutionary consistent distributions of endogenous retroviruses; presence of vestigial anatomical/genetic features (e.g. male nip-ples, recurrent laryngeal nerve, our defunct gene for egg yolk protein, etc); application of evolutionary theory to discover genes associated with developmental disorders; etc, etc.

          For those who make such silly statements as there's no evidence for evolution, I challenge you to explain the progressive order of the fossil record, i.e. first fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds. Please note that creationist models (e.g. "hydrodynamic sorting," "differential escape," "eco-zonation," "floating biomes," etc) all fail to account for the observation of forms of similar density occupying similar niches being separated by many, many layers of geologic strata.

          Regarding observation/replication with respect to science, neither direct observation nor complete recapitulation of an event is required. For example, a genetic paternity test is replicable and its reliability doesn't hinge on the technician having also witnessed the act of conception.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • Ben

      Evolution doesn't disprove any god per se, but it does imply that no creator god had any hand in the diversity of life on this planet. It does conflict with a literal reading of the Bible, however.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      No, evolution does not prove that there is no God.

      There are plenty of people who accept that evolution is God's 'plan' for how his creation formed. This is not an illogical opinion.

      (And it's not my opinion, but it is a far more reasonable approach than young earth creationism)

      January 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
      • Science Works

        The RCC version of theistic evolution ?

        January 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
  6. Ah

    how come god didn't clean up after creating the universe,, all those meteors and such. Seems that would have been the easiest job.

    maybe no so perfect.

    January 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
    • Topher

      Meteors ... good evidence for a young universe.

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

        Only if you are stupid like we.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • Ah

        better evidence to planetary evolution

        January 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Topher

          How?

          January 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • Ah

          meteors are the remains from planetary formation.. proof of billions of years ago planets formed

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

          Only if you have a presupposition that planets formed ... and even then you can't call it proof because it's not testable or repeatable. AND if your presupposition includes millions of years.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Ellen

          That's really grasping at straws, Topher. The bible barely contemplates astronomy and astrophysics to begin with.

          Now, where's your evidence for your god, over that for the tooth fairy? And no, buybull quotes don't count as evidence.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Russ

          The irony of the day: Topher questioning someone else about evidence.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Topher

          Ellen

          "That's really grasping at straws, Topher. The bible barely contemplates astronomy and astrophysics to begin with."

          It doesn't need to. It tells us how it all came about, though.

          "Now, where's your evidence for your god, over that for the tooth fairy? And no, buybull quotes don't count as evidence."

          I don't believe in the tooth fairy. And as for evidence of God, the creation, for one. And my conscience.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • urnotathinkerareu

          Planets didnt form...god made them...how..no one knows...end of story. Only a fkn lunatic still thinks like that.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • Breezy Day

          Ellen… You stated… "Now, where's your evidence for your god, over that for the tooth fairy? And no, buybull quotes don't count as evidence."…

          Answer: That's easy. Jesus Christ. He was a real man who walked upon this earth. You can look him up in real world history, no bible even needed. Seems like you're out of excuses...

          January 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • Merlin

          Breezy,
          "You can look him up in real world history, no bible even needed."

          Not really. There is very scant non-biblical evidence that such a person existed, let alone that he was a god. This would have been big news!

          You can squeeze out someone who resembled King Arthur from history too - that doesn't mean that the supernatural legends about him are true.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Breezy Day

          Merlin… Unless you've been living under a rock all your life, then you are the biggest of liars and you know it. And lying will not change the truth. Nothing else needs to be said…

          Furthermore, it doesn't have to be headline news of the world to be valid (Lucifer will always try to suppress the truth anyway).. If you've even heard the name Jesus Christ but has rejected it, then that alone is enough to send your soul to hell...

          January 15, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • RickyPeters

        Are they like the sawdust that God didn't bother to sweep up, or something?

        If you think that Costco has wasteful packaging just think of God. 99.9999% of the universe is just empty space used to "package" the stuff we can see. An intelligent creator really would have made the Earth the center of a much smaller universe, like Christians use to believe the Bible told them.

        January 14, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • Breezy Day

      Ah… You stated… "how come god didn't clean up after creating the universe,, all those meteors and such. Seems that would have been the easiest job. maybe no so perfect."…

      I don't know. Maybe you should ask him on Judgment Day before he casts you into the lake…

      Matthew 12:26 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment…

      January 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        Good answer you judgmental hypocrite lunatic.

        January 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Breezy Day

          Psalms 37:30 – The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him…

          January 15, 2014 at 9:17 am |
  7. Religious Pro's are anti-Gospel. They flunked.

    *+*+ *+*+ 🙂 🙂

    January 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
  8. Go into a closet Pretend there's no closet. Do it quickly.

    $$**## 🙂 🙂 ##**$$

    January 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
    • You have no point, and your posts are stupid!!

      January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
  9. A. Reasoner

    Taking a year as an atheist is like a Mormon taking a bride - why stop with just one?

    January 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
    • Mopery

      Just don't forget to Bringem Young!

      January 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
  10. Don"t tell me prayer don't work.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL5yplRHE9g&w=640&h=360]

    January 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
  11. Maybe it's just me

    Rather than start with the assumption that there are gods and look to disprove them, I start with the assumption that there are not any and try and find reasons why there could be one (some?). It's lead me to pantheism, solipsism and conspiracy just to name a few.

    January 14, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
  12. Reality # 2

    God does not exist. And for the need of a creator, one only has to ask, who created the creator ?????

    We are here today, gone tomorrow eventually returning as something different, non-animated or animated in the chaotic, stochastic life of the expanding or shrinking universe.

    January 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • Mopery

      It is what it is.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
    • Topher

      Why does the creator need a creator?

      January 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • Austin

        Why did we drive our truck into a church?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
      • Why do you think

        ...we were "created?" Because the Bible told you that?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Topher

          I wouldn't need the Bible to tell me that. There's no way I can look at the creation and conclude it's all from a cosmic accident. So there MUST be a creator.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • RickyPeters

          Just because you can't see it?

          Boy, what an ego! Ever consider that there are plenty of people out there with better education than you that can see the reason behind it? Where is your humility?

          January 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        Why does a question need an answer? Mind games that's all you are playing on here...just like you have been taught to do by your indoctrination. Good on you...lol

        January 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • Breezy Day

      Big words, and never a shred of evidence to back it up. What you're saying don't mean a thing...

      January 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
  13. AE

    “Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.” – Max Born (Nobel Prize winning physicist)

    January 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
    • Just can't see it

      Uh, oh. Watch out! Max Born was Jewish. You're gonna get SERFIE on your A$$

      January 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • Mopery

      Random quotes taken out of context are no more compelling than route-memorized scripture.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We are born atheist. We are atheist long before anything like science might persuade us that we should be atheist. Then come the unrelenting well-meant lies and indoctrination from people infected with religion. Even Nobel Prize winners are sometimes unable to break free of it.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • AE

        “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”

        –Professor of Mathematical Physics Frank Tippler, author of The Physics of Christianity and The Physics of Immortality.

        We are also born immature, self-centered, po.oping and pe.eing on ourselves.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It is sad to see someone go out that way.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • Mopery

          Nothing sells books like putting "god" in the t i t l e, just ask Leon Lederman.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          " ...the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics" Definitely his very own special branch. Most people find the logic or their own private branches "inexorable." But I ain't swingin' from that branch.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • PaulF

          Tipper is a psudeoscientist.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • PaulF

          Just can't see it
          Tipper's branch appears to be the study of how The Resurrection happened. He calls it Omega Point theory. I'm surprised that AE cites him; his work is only Theory after all.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Hmmm

          He wasn't a believer, but then, out of all the possible religions he could believe, he chose that of those around him. What a surprise.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • AE

        Can you expand on how I was indoctrinated by liars into believing in God? Please use as much logic, facts and evidence that you have.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I admit I don't know how you came to be Christian, AE. I did ask if there was anything beyond indoctrination to it. If you had access to God as a fact , if your belief depended on that fact, and if you could convey all that to someone willing to consider it. You did respond, but not in any way I'd call informative.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • Mopery

          Children will believe whatever they're told by authority figures, but perhaps you were not indoctrinated as a child or grew up in another country, and so never believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. People also conform to fit into whatever crowd they find themselves in, or risk being an outcast or pariah. Many religious people become physically violent when their beliefs are openly doubted by others, so conceding the argument out of fear is also a possibility. In any case, self-delusion is the usual culprit, the longer you "believe" the more stories you've made up to reinforce your belief.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • AE

          I know a lot of atheists that were raised Christian. They don't claim they were indoctrinated or suffered the threat of violence or abuse. They were free to choose a new belief system.

          And I just don't see where I was lied to. Or that I've been 'infected'. That sounds like some things some extremely right-wing fundamental Christians try to say about atheists.

          It sounds just as ignorant.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • Mopery

          Cherry-picking quotes from "famous" scientists out of context, seems legit.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • AE

          I saw atheists on here doing that exact same thing. So I figured, why not?

          January 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
      • Paul

        Is my neighbor's dog an atheist?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
      • Breezy Day

        So you were born believing what the devil wants you to believe – believing there is no God. That's quite interesting. The only people I know like that are "sons of perdition" of the son's of Lucifer...

        Psalm 14:1 – The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God...

        January 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • urnotathinkerareu

          an appeal to a biblical quote is NOT evidence of any kind...that is simply more proof of your indoctrination. Get with it already.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • Just The Facts

          urnotathinkerareu… Wrong. When such a quote is from the word of God. it is indeed evidence. And evidence that will send your soul to hell if you fail to believe in it…

          January 15, 2014 at 9:10 am |
    • Ben

      So what? That was one man's personal opinion. The reality is that modern professional physicists are most likely to be or become atheists. None of the religious physicists can justify their faith with their work. If they could, wouldn't we have Nobel Prizes describing God's function in the universe?

      January 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • AE

        So what? Everybody on here is sharing their personal opinion.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • bostontola

      Max Born merely stated a fact, there are plenty of religious people that have gone into science and stayed in their religion, big deal. Who said science could cure the religion spell? It takes a lot more than studying science to break that spell.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • Observer

      AE,

      Pretty much pointless. Anyone could spam a list of comments from HUNDREDS of famous atheists.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • AE

        Most of the posts on here are pointless. A lot of hostile internet atheists copy and paste the same things over and over. That is spamming.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • Terry

          A lot of hostile Christians paste the same thing over and over. AE is one of those.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
      • Boris

        AE doesn't have any other arguments that haven't already been crushed, so that is all he can do. It's the usual Christian pick and choose and ignore that it doesn't hold water.

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

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvDYyoAv9k&w=640&h=360]

          Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, debunks the notion that scientists cannot be believers.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Boris

          Like I said, AE, nice pick and choose yet again. You really are desperate, and it shows. Christianity is going down bigtime, and it's fun to watch you down on your knees with it.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • AE

          Sure, in your imagination I'm desperate and acting like your stereotyped image of what a Christian is. But that is just your imagination. It is not real.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • Ben

          Scientists can be believers like doctors can be fat, lazy smokers, but neither will write papers explaining how their personal beliefs match their professional knowledge.

          January 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
  14. serfie

    Sanity: Hi, would you like to try not believing in any deities or the supernatural for a year?

    Insanity: Hi, would you like to try worshiping a dead Jew from 2000 years ago for a year? Also, if you don't mind, we also believe in a 6 day creation, Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, and a bunch of raggedy Jews wandering the Sinai for 40 years waiting to invade a land and committing ethnic cleansing against all the occupants,

    January 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • Just can't see it

      What's with this guy and his "dead jews" thing? Is this hilarious or what?

      January 14, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • Jewish

        No, he's just an asshole.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mopery

      Right? You will become immortal if you willingly give your soul to a cosmic zombie, who is his own father, but only if you drink his blood and eat his flesh first so he can remove the evil that he put into your body before you were born, all because a woman, who was created from the rib of a guy who was originally created from dirt, listened to a talking snake and ate a magical fruit long, long ago in a garden far, far away. Makes absolute sense when you think about it...

      January 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  15. Colin

    "Can you try atheism for a year?" That's a bit like asking, "can you try enlightenment for a year," or "can you try reality for a year?"

    Once a person graduates from the, quite frankly, childish, notions of religion, it is pretty da.mn hard to go back. I just don't see how you can un-educate yourself.

    January 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      And yet atheists and agnostics convert to Christianity all the time. Good thing your so much smarter and mature than them!

      January 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • Mopery

        Yeah! Clearly that's why the number of self-identified Atheists has more than doubled in the last decade...

        January 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • Just can't see it

        They do? Well, if they do, then they were too weak to be real atheists to begin with. Keep 'em.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
      • Colin

        And people convert to Buddhism, Hinduism, Communism, astrology and Islam. There will always be theological flotsam and jetsum floating around, ready to wash up on the closest shore available to the poor intellectually enfeebled simpletons. I am talking about mainstream, well adjusted people.

        It's hard to back to believing in Santa Claus.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Mopery

          I don't know, I heard on the news that NORAD was tracking Santa Claus a few weeks back, I just hope we don't go to DEFCON 1 over Santa someday...

          January 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • PaulF

        And probably most American atheists were once Christians, and our percentage is rising.

        January 14, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
      • Riiight...

        "And yet atheists and agnostics convert to Christianity all the time."

        Riiight. We all know about some atheist who converted to Christianity, because it's so commonplace....riiight?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • Breezy Day

      Colin... Just you keep holding that thought. The flames of hell has a way of "re-educating" people like you quite fast. In fact, there is not a single unbeliever anywhere in hell. Every one of them KNOWS there's a God...

      January 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • doobzz

        You really love fantasizing about the eternal torture of those who don't believe the same things you do, don't you , easy breezy?

        January 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • Breezy Day

          It's not a fantasy...

          Psalms 37:30 – The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him…

          But pretending God doesn't exist, is...

          January 15, 2014 at 9:14 am |
        • doobzz

          You take so much joy in imagining my future torture. Lovely Christian values.

          "My god loves you and if you don't believe it he'll send you to an eternal chamber of horrors."

          January 15, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  16. Mopery

    I think he'll find that it's much brighter, and far better smelling, once he pulls his head completely out of his ass.

    January 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Just can't see it

      But he's seeking god in there. He's got to be around there somewhere!

      January 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Just can't see it

    Question for all the atheists here: Could you possibly, earnestly "try religious belief" for a year? I myself couldn't do it in earnest for even one minute. You?

    January 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I believe I could. I have known other atheists who attempted similar experiences.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mopery

      That's like asking if I can try to be insane for a year, not going to happen.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
      • Just can't see it

        Hah! That's funny!

        January 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
      • serfie

        Mopery-

        You are already insane.

        You are a paranoid schizophrenic who sees evil corporations everywhere out to get you.

        January 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          That's why we love him.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Mopery

          There you go again serfie, more projection. Pretty much what I expected from a boot-licking sycophant like you.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      i could not

      January 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • bostontola

      I couldn't earnestly try religion for a year. But to be fair, that is not a good comparison to Mr. Bell. I am highly content in my atheism. Just like strong religious believers couldn't try atheism for a year.

      Now if I somehow had what I thought was a supernatural experience that shook by atheism, I may be very able to earnestly try religion for a year. I think that is closer to what Mr. Bell is doing. His religion became apart from him over deep moral issues, opening him up for other ideas.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
  18. bostontola

    Isn't it amazing that to some people it is obvious to that no supernatural beings exist, and to other people it is obvious that their God must exist.

    Also interesting is that even for many believers, it is obvious that no Gods other than theirs exist.

    Believers: None of the thousands of man made Gods exist except mine.
    Atheists: None of the thousands of man made Gods exist.

    January 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • AE

      "Christian exclusiveness, for that is what the lack of charity suggests, cannot face the requirements of modesty, the notion that all is not known and that we do not know all. When devout Christians believe that only Christians of a particular doctrinal stripe have access to God, that, for example, God hears their prayers only, they stand in cosmic immodesty. The Christian Bible more than once makes the point that God’s ways are not our ways, and that the mind of God is vastly different from our own minds. Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respectful agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.

      J. B. Phillips observed many years ago that one’s God is too small if within God’s providence there is no care and awareness of the other. This is what the hymn writer F. W. Faber meant in “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” when he said:

      For the love of God is broader

      Than the measure of our mind:;

      And the heart of the Eternal

      Is most wonderfully kind.

      If there is any good news that is truly good news for everybody, and not just for a few somebodies, it is this: God is greater and more generous than the best of those who profess to know and serve him. This is the radical nonconformity with the conventional wisdom that Jesus both proclaimed and exemplified, and, alas, it cost him his life. Will we hope to fare any better, as disciples of his nonconformity?"

      Peter Gomes

      January 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
      • Just can't see it

        And you actually believe in all this drivel?

        January 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • AE

          That is not drivel. Peter Gomes was a genius.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Mopery

          No, that most certainly is drivel.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • AE

          What a compelling argument.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          It's a better argument than that Gomes stuff. Blech.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • AE

          Any guy that appears on Colbert Report, and is not part of a punchline, deserves some respect.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • Mopery

          I seen him on the TV he deserves my respect!

          January 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          Oh, why didn't you SAY he's been on TV? Totally different story now - he has my upmost respect.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          "I seen him on the TV..."

          Aarrggh!

          It's:

          I have seen him...
          -or-
          I saw him...

          January 14, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          Dippy, dippy, dippy. Can you not see the sarcasm in Mopery's syntax? The parody of AE's voice? Is grammar so important to you that you can't recognize irony?

          January 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • Mopery

          Shhh, he just can't see it...

          January 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          Ah! 😳

          January 14, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          We still love you, dippy. : )

          January 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • AE

          People who write drivel get sp.anked on The Colbert Report.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Jeff

          If you don't know that Colbert is nothing if not satire, AE, you shouldn't be watching.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • AE

          That show uses satire to tear people new as.sholes. He wasn't able to do that to Gomes.

          http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/184931/september-15-2008/peter-j–gomes

          January 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          AE loves assholes. It takes one to...

          January 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        On the contrary, what is clear is that the Christian god does not suffer lightly those who would have other gods before him, or no gods at all.

        January 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Richard

          How is that clear? If that were true, there wouldn't be any followers of any other religion, because your god would have wiped them off the face of the earth, right?

          January 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • Richard

          Sorry, didn't mean to say "your god", meant to say "that god". Making no assumptions.

          January 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Are you kidding? He created a special place of eternal torment for those that don't believe in him / accept Jesus. That more than qualifies as "not suffering lightly".

          For the record, I'm a nonbeliever. I say that because based on your "making no assumptions" comment that you might believe otherwise. My initial comment was meant to counter AE's statements that God was this all inclusive being.

          January 15, 2014 at 9:18 am |
    • Sungrazer

      "Which god?" is a point that I think should be hammered home as often as possible. Every religious person knows what it is like to be an atheist. As the famous quote says, "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

      January 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • vancouverron

        Ever since the pope gave atheists a free pass into heaven, I just don't worry about it anymore. And I get to sleep in on Sundays, ta boot!!

        January 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        Thats too deep for many on here to understand...lighten up a bit ok...lol

        January 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
  19. serfie

    Conservative Christians revere their Dead Jew Cult called Christianity.

    Liberals revere their Dead Jew Cult called Marxism.

    Instead of relying on Dead Jew Cults, perhaps Americans should start to deal with reality right here and right now and stop outsourcing all their responsibilities as human beings to ancient dead Jews and to the state.

    January 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Please go research how Jews actually feel about Jesus then come back and play in these inter webs. Until then you just continue to look the fool.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        How do Jews feel about Jesus?

        January 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
      • serfie

        Jesus was a Jew; ergo, Christianity is a Dead Jew Cult.

        You are not very bright, are you?

        January 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • CommonSensed

          Pray continue to look the fool. Your flailing is pure amusement.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • Observer

          CommonSensed,

          You are right. He established his level of intelligence with his IDIOTIC remark claiming liberals revere Marxism.

          January 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • Just can't see it

      Uh... someone's got a problem with jews it seems. Yikes, amazing how people reveal themselves.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • serfie

        You must be a liberal, everything is reduced to racism or anti-Antisemitism.

        Judaism. Christianity and Marxism are Dead Jew Cults. Seriously, that is what they are.

        I'm sorry if the word "Jew" offends you. It is a noun. Get over yourself. Nouns are not racist, liberal.

        January 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Just can't see it

          You've got the shovel - and you keep digging yourself deeper and deeper...

          January 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Jeff

          You must be an asshole. Only assholes politicize everything and throw out the word "liberal" (or conservative) as if it's an epithet.

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

      Wow...so wrong on so many levels...

      January 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • Mopery

      Well it looks like someone just got home from elementary school after being bullied yet again...

      January 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • serfie

        Mopery-

        You are the only one here crying about how you are the bullied victim of the evil corporations, your Satan, and need your God, the federal government, to bail you out of your self-induced failures in life.

        January 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Mopery

          Careful son, you're projecting again.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • Jeff

          He said nothing of the sort. You're just being an asshole.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  20. Just can't see it

    Americans love their fads. Christian faith right now is a huge fad - this dude is trying to start an atheist fad. Nothing is sincere in this country. Look, if you're totally honest and sincere – you can't possibly support the idea of god or religion. Just doesn't exist.

    January 14, 2014 at 5:32 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.