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Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?
Camels, shown here in the Liwa desert outside Abu Dhabi, are the subject of a surprising new discovery.
February 11th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - It’s been a rough 2014 for the book of Genesis.

First a Noah’s Ark discovery raised a flood of questions, then there was the much-hyped debate over life’s origins between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham.

And now this: a scientific report establishing that camels, the basic mode of transportation for the biblical patriarchs, weren’t domesticated in Israel until hundreds of years after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are said to have wandered the earth.

Using radiocarbon dating of camel bones that showed signs of having carried heavy loads, Israeli archaeologists have dated the earliest domesticated camels to the end of the 10th century BCE.

But according to the traditional biblical chronology, the patriarchs were schlepping around Canaan on camels over a millennium earlier, all the way back in 2100 BCE

Taken on its own, this may seem a rather minor problem.

After all, this is Genesis, in which some people live to be 900 years old (hello, Methuselah), all of humanity emerges from Babylon, and the Dead Sea is created from the backward glance of Lot’s wife. (Not to mention the six-day creation story and the stuffing of all land animals on a single boat.)

How important could camels really be?

For those who believe the Bible to be fundamentally true, this is hardly going to change any minds. For those who believe it to be entirely false, this is surely not the most damning piece of evidence.

What the camels in Genesis reveal, in fact, has nothing to do with the “truth” of the biblical story at all.

Instead, the presence of these camels in the story highlights, in a very clear way, the essential humanity of the biblical writers: like the best authors, they simply wrote about what they knew.

The patriarchs are depicted as nomadic, never settling for long in one place, but moving constantly from location to location throughout Israel (and beyond).

An ancient Israelite, wanting to tell the story of the wandering of his ethnic and national ancestors, would have naturally looked to the nomadic peoples around him as models. And indeed, throughout the Bible camels are commonly associated with those tribes who lived in the desert: Midianites, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Kedemites.

The biblical authors simply transplanted the nomadic standards of their time into the distant past.

There is nothing deceptive about this. They weren’t trying to trick anyone. They imagined, quite reasonably, that the past was, fundamentally, like their present.

They had no real alternative. In ancient Israel, in the period when the Bible was written (which ranges, conservatively, from the 10th to the third century BCE), no one had any way of knowing that camels had not always been domesticated pack animals. After all, we didn’t know that for sure until this past week.

Without any evidence to the contrary, it is perfectly natural to assume that things have always been the way that they are now. Today we have more information about the past than any other moment in history. In ancient Israel, they had virtually none.

And yet we still fall victim to this basic, very human, historical fallacy.

It has been suggested that this anachronism in the biblical text is akin to importing semitrailers into the medieval period. But this is a level of ridiculousness too far.

I would suggest that it is more similar to describing a medieval Italian as enjoying pasta with tomato sauce. How many people, even today, know that tomatoes only came to Italy from South America in the 16th century?

The camels in Genesis may be “wrong,” but they are not a “mistake.” We all imagine the past to the best of our knowledge, the biblical authors included.

The lasting lesson of the camel controversy, such as it is, is a simple one: no writing, not even the Bible, is timeless or without context. Views of the past are contingent on both what we know and how we know it.

The Bible is a historical record, but it tells us just as much, if not more, about the people who wrote it as it does about the people they wrote about.

Since the stories of the Bible remain so central to who we are as a culture, even today (and even for those who dismiss it), it seems entirely fitting that we should be equally interested in the ancient people who composed them.

Despite their lack of historical knowledge — and, equally, because of it — they, more than the characters in the Bible, are our true cultural ancestors.

Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (3,276 Responses)
  1. albertleslie973

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    February 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  2. bostontola

    It's none of my business what anyone believes (unless they try to force them on others), much less would I want to change their beliefs. That said, I feel a bit sad for the extremist that let's their belief close their mind to the beautiful sciences of nature that conflict with their beliefs. Rigorous science isn't for everyone, but most of it has popularly understandable explanations. This beauty isn't in conflict with any God, it is just in conflict with the dogma of particular sects of some religions. It's actually a rare choice you can make to have your cake and eat it too. You can look into the beauty of nature and believe in God.

    February 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Extremism is scary. Especially when religious in nature. But even outside of religion it can be dangerous and blinding.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • bostontola

        Agreed.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • agolf70

          is the truth extreme if it is true that God manifest himself through the Word? That would mean that the bible is the extreme truth.

          so be it. I have experienced the Holy Spirit. and it came through a battle with truth and the need to be saved from sin.

          passionate is good. Moses, David, Paul, all killers, with a passion for truth and God. they are acceptable role models.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sometimes deciding you know the absolute truth only leads to arrogance, not humility or meekness.

          I try to think God has the absolute truth. Not me. He may reveal it to other people in different ways.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          schizophrenia: a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • agolf70

          Absolute truth would encompass everything there is to know. no one with 1/10 of their brain functioning will ever get there.

          But if you know there is spiritual revelation through the Bible, then that is powerful. I know that God has given us a spirit.
          and that He speaks through the Word. I don't need to go any further to find God than the word,and the name of Jesus.

          I also know that I am a sinner. That is obvious to me. I believe that everyone else is too and that they need to fight evil through the victory all ready established through the resurrection.

          meek, and humility and love, are my downfalls.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • agolf70

          never been happier,

          I have my experienced doc.umented on paper, i keep a journal of the subjective, and the objective.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          nbha,
          I also wonder where extreme religious belief becomes schizophrenia.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          'While in prison, Andrea stated she had considered killing the children for two years, adding that they thought she was not a good mother and claimed her sons were developing improperly. She told her jail psychiatrist: "It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them, they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell." She also told her jail psychiatrist that Satan influenced her children and made them more disobedient.' – Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 2010

          February 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I have my experienced doc.umented on paper, i keep a journal of the subjective, and the objective."

          Austin? Is that you? Though I have my doubts because you seem to be able to spell...

          Any accounts of dead cats in your journal?

          February 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • agolf70

          how can you explain how in a span of 1 week, i walked up to 2 dorm mates and handed them a dream, pulled the dream out of a file right in front of everyone, of 2 experiences that had just happened.

          i all ready had the dream written down. They had been mocking me for what i am talking about. and i produced proof of visions in real time. right when it happened , i allready had a dream of it written down, one 30 days ahead of time, one 2 days.??

          February 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + "meek, and humility and love, are my downfalls."

          Me, too. I would focus more on the principles that encourage those spiritual principles. And less time about the absolute truth you possess.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          What about Jeffrey Dahmer? He was a serial killer who happened to be atheist.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • agolf70

          @Dalahäst

          I know what you are saying, but a personal testimony is also acceptable, hand in hand with the presentation of the gospel.

          I think so anyway, at the end of a gospel, weren't we commanded to give testimony?

          February 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          If it is a persons internal morality that is based on their upbringing and the training of their "soul" to act morally then how could any of those trained "souls" become schizophrenic? How could chemical imbalances change our morality if it is based on our relationship with a creator and not some mix of chemicals in our bodies and brains effecting how we relate with reallity?

          Why would a simple spritz of a chemical called oxytocin effect how we trust others or experience empathy for others if the "soul" was the prime driver of our behavior?

          http://www.wimp.com/trustmorality/

          February 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "What about Jeffrey Dahmer? He was a serial killer who happened to be atheist."

          Was it his atheism that he claimed drove him to kill? If not then that is a silly comparrison.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          agolf70

          I think we should demonstrate Jesus' love for other people. Not just tell them things from scripture. I've been told that is rude and unhelpful.

          Jesus told us what to do: feed the hungry, help the widowed. Not preach at them. Help them. If you want to preach, go to a church where people who want to be preached to show up.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • agolf70

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          If it is a persons internal morality that is based on their upbringing and the training of their "soul" to act morally

          then how could any of those trained "souls" become schizophrenic?

          There really are chemically induced or drug induced reasons.

          How could chemical imbalances change our morality if it is based on our relationship with a creator and not some mix of chemicals in our bodies and brains effecting how we relate with reallity?

          Why did King David commit Adultery? Why were Caananites destroyed? Why did Adam sin, why was Abel a sinner?

          We all have an extent of physical inheritance of sin. and it all effects the next generation. disease included.

          some mentally ill people will have a just consideration to be applied at judgment comparable to retardation and abortion.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          Yea, I'm playing devil's advocate with you.

          Kind of like your remark on the fire department in regards to my church.

          And, actually, Jeffery Dahmer did testify it was his atheism that caused it. But that is too simplistic to be sufficient. It was much more complex than his atheism.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • agolf70

          "I've been told that is rude and unhelpful. "

          you have found the most important ingredient to everything you do, but the Holy Spirit bears the truth of God's word on a persons heart. And you should sow the seed of the Word. Using bible verses can be a short cut. God has prepared peoples hearts, while others reject and wrestle with the truth in the word. But what ever you do , do it with love.

          That is so so important. Thanks for the reminder.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I asked "How could chemical imbalances change our morality if it is based on our relationship with a creator and not some mix of chemicals in our bodies and brains effecting how we relate with reallity?"

          You reply: "Why did King David commit Adultery? Why were Caananites destroyed? Why did Adam sin, why was Abel a sinner?"

          Changing the subject? I know the biblical answers if you want them but that has little to do with my question. King David committed adultery because he saw Bathsheba bathing and wanted her for himself, though the adultery was the minor crime as then David had Uriah sent to the front lines where he was sure to be killed and was effectively making David a murderer as well as an adulterer. And who does God punish? He aborts Davids child and leaves David as King and in the lineage of Christ. Why were the Caananites destroyed? There were many reasons they were villified by the Israelites, first and formost was their worship of other Gods like Baal, but the shorter more truthful answer is that Moses claimed God promised the lands of Caanan to the Israelites so they had to be removed before the Israelites coud take over the land flowing with milk and honey. Adam sinned as he said "Because this woman you gave me made me eat" the forbidden fruit, and Abels only sin was to have been born of Adam, that and apparently being a bit of a showoff to his brother Cain when making his offerings to God.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          That was all off the top of my head by the way as I have read the bible several times in the three decades I spent as a devout Christian, 1 of which I spent as a pastor in Ohio. I could if you like give you the cliff notes of the bible, Adam to John, Genesis to Revelation. I think many Christians mistake knowing for believing because when they are first indoctrinated all they can do is strive to "know" about the bible and work hard at getting past their doubts of talking snakes and talking donkeys, water walking and the sun standing still, and then they just start telling themselves "I believe" because that is the expected next step after "knowing" of a supposed event.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          " But what ever you do , do it with love. "

          Amen. I've noticed you have taken the brunt of some vicious verbal attacks at times in the past on this blog. But I don't recall you ever returning with hate. I admire that.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Austin

          "How could chemical imbalances change our morality if it is based on our relationship with a creator and not some mix of chemicals in our bodies and brains effecting how we relate with reallity"

          Chemical imbalances can come from a natural disposition or be induced

          t'if it" what is it?

          I think that we have a tendency to not be moral, and we can find that God has given us morality to look to. and this morality conflicts with our flesh. We want to pig out, and fornicate with many , and get drunk and have a sports car.

          and a chemical imbalance is just a small variable. Our chemical embalance can get worse period. and so can our desire and willingness to sin.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Austin

          false religions extremism like Hitler was guilty of , had a reality that encompasses demonic apostacy as talked about in revelation, as seen in the crusades and inquisition.

          Its just to bad that you will not agree to give credence to Satanic evil and deception/ Apostacy / the falling away of the church.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • agolf70

        That said, I feel a bit sad for the extremist that let's their belief close their mind to the beautiful sciences of nature that conflict with their beliefs. Rigorous science isn't for everyone, but most of it has popularly understandable explanations. This beauty isn't in conflict with any God, it is just in conflict with the dogma of particular sects of some religions.

        God had Aaron as Priest, and Moses as Prophet. God had David as king and Nathan as prophet. There was a line between being king and priest.

        The whole question goes back to truth. And the only relevance anyone has is if one can explain the reality of a personal relationhip with a God, verses the attraction of being involved in a religious power trip.

        Is there a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit?

        Do muslims have a indwelling of a holy spirit, or buddists? Christians claim to have an intimate, relationship with an indwelling spirit. is this real? How can you speculate unless you claim to have it? If you claim to have it, then can you give evidence of something you receive spiritually? Does a persons testimony count? Do they use testimony in a court?

        is testimony part of science? could a testimony be true?

        February 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          Does a persons testimony count? Yes. Do they use testimony in a court? Yes, it is weighed as to fact, opinion is usually removed by the judge. Subjective testimony is treated as opinion and is only allowed in very narrow circu.mstances.

          is testimony part of science? Yes, there are some psychology experiments that are testing opinion.

          could a testimony be true? Of course, it can also be false. We use objective evidence to determine which is which.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • agolf70

          so bro, I hate to be a broken record. but I know that dreams are subjective,and i write them down at night. every night. that is not worth talking about .

          but my experiences with what has happened after that, has clearly indicated that there is a very frequent supernatural spiritual revelation being transmitted at times. What you experience is fairly objective.

          I have been honest with my self. That is what is most important to me.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          @Austin/agolf70 – Please get help now before you hurt yourself or someone else.

          schizophrenia: a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • agolf70

          never been happier atheist.
          The authority of the Word of God is being revealed, and more so to people indwealt with the Holy Spirit. There are some fortunate people who are rejecting God, who are being supernaturally over turned within.

          John 16:13 ►

          But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

          just remember that there will be a false messiah, who is followed by the world (Jews, Muslims), and that he will be a false messiah. And there will be people like me getting their heads cut off. But that false messiah will be thrown into the abyss.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "there will be a false messiah, who is followed by the world (Jews, Muslims), and that he will be a false messiah. And there will be people like me getting their heads cut off."

          "fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation."

          February 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Dala, you seem like the definition of an extremist on the religious side. You ignore logic, talk in circles and never conceed when you're wrong. Now, I'm not saying you're of the completely insane variety of religious people who quote the bible as if it's the truth and think evolution is a hoax, but you're extreme nonetheless.

        February 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Hey, you again! I do struggle with issues like that.

          But I've never been defined as an extremist on the religious side before. (Well, except for a few times on the internet by... extreme anti-religious people. But they didn't know me or what they were talking about.)

          February 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  3. Semper Cogitatus

    Two things:

    First, that report does not establish that camels were not domesticated until after, it suggests it. It does not prove anything either way.

    Second, there is already plenty of proof that the world is more than 6000 years old, and that no huge world wide flood ever happened or could happen. The Sumerian roots of the flood story are even known. We don't need to find out whether the patriarchs rally could have camels to know whether the bible stories are true.

    Also, people that believe that the bible is to be taken literally already believe this in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, does the author of this article actually think that archaeological evidence about camels would sway anyone when dinosaurs don't?

    February 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • tallulah131

      When you keep adding bricks of fact to the "reason" side of the scale, eventually the balance will tip. At least it will for honest people.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Exactly. Considering we have people like Rick Perry who are still taken somewhat seriously as a presedential candidate shows we have a long way to go. The fact that a presidential candidate can say, "Evolution is just one of the theories out there" with a straight face and still get a significant amount of support shows how much work remains. The sad thing is how embarassing it is for our country when people like that actually have successful political careers!

        February 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
  4. Dalahäst

    1) Most religious people were indoctrinated as children

    2) Childhood indoctrination is a form of brain-washing

    Conclusion: Most religious people were brain-washed. This isn't complicated.

    Is this circular reasoning, a logical fallacy or sound logic?

    February 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Doctrine: a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.

      Indoctrination: teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically

      Critically: in a critical manner; "this must be examined critically"

      Religious indoctrination is teahing that rejects critical thinking in liue of blind acceptance.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        doc·trine (dŏk′trĭn)
        n.
        1. A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.
        2. A rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent.
        3. A statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs and military strategy.
        --
        in·doc·tri·nate (ĭn-dŏk′trə-nāt′)
        1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
        2. To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view: a generation of children who had been indoctrinated against the values of their parents.
        --

        A religion can help teach people to think critically.

        Most religious people oppose brainwashing, dangerous indcotrination that encourages critical thinking.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          discourages critical thinking!

          February 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          You have added "scientific" for your own purposes. The correct term would be scientific theory, not scientific doctrine, as the scientific theory is asking to be tested and wanting to be challeneged and corrected if a better scientific theory fits the facts, whereas a doctrine requires no proof or testing and refutes any challenge to its claims.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I didn't add it. But I did emphasize it.

          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/doctrine

          The dictionary defined it.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          You state below "I don't think people should accept something without proof. I don't. I don't expect others to either." and yet you aren't able to even explain your own personal proofs let alone telling we atheists how to find said verifiable proof.

          So it is "proof" as defined: "evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement."?

          Or is it "proof*" aka "feelings" and "personal opinions"?

          February 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true. Like the dictionary defines.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Merriam-Webster:

          Full Definition of DOCTRINE

          1 archaic: teaching, instruction

          2 a: something that is taught

          b: a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma

          c: a principle of law established through past decisions

          d: a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations

          e: a military principle or set of strategies

          Examples of DOCTRINE

          "The government was founded on a doctrine of equality for all people."
          "Many psychologists now question the doctrines of Sigmund Freud."
          " teaching religious doctrine to young people"

          It appears only the "Free" online dictionary includes the term "scientific" in its definition and there are several articles debating whether that is appropriate as most educated posters posit that science is not a doctrine but a method on which some based their doctrines.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's fine. I don't think my science knowledge is based on indoctrination or brainwashing, either.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Semper Cogitatus

      Most non-religious, and especially most anti-religious people were indoctrinated into a religion in childhood. That you tuned blind acceptance into blind hate does not make you better than them.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I don't have blind acceptance.

        I'm equal with those that may have blind hate. They are my neighbor, the other that Jesus commands me to love.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • derado8

          I like my own socially phobic golden rule "avoid thy neighbor".

          February 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      1: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and att.itudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas

      -–

      Logical fail. Not all religious indoctrination is forcible.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        brainwashing – 1: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and att.itudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas

        February 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          As a child, did you have a choice in the doctrines you were taught?

          If I taught my daughter from infancy that the color everyone else saw as green was really red. Would not that be considered brainwashing? Wouldn't giving her only the one teaching be considered "forcing" her to believe the color green is called red and thus setting her up for some very embarassing sittuations as she grows up? Turning her into a laughing stock at school when she picks the wrong color and everyone calls her color blind from then on. This is what Christians are doing to their children by indoctinating them in young earth creationism and other forms of theology that are at complete odds with the actual geology and fossil record. These children will either grow up thinking their parents are morons as they learn the truth about the universe or they will desparately try and hold onto their dying faith craying and weeping as science and education pulls the plug.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + As a child, did you have a choice in the doctrines you were taught?

          No. But as I matured, I did.

          I was a rebelious young adult. I was too skeptical and free to honestly be considered brainwashed or dangerously indoctrinated by extreme religionists.

          Thank God.

          Most Christians are not young earth creationists. Even some of the ones that have been "brainwashed" choose to not believe in young earth creationism today.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • Salero21

      Atheism/evolutionism/idolatry = Total stupidity.

      Atheists = Talking parrots that have been "indoctrinated" by other fools to go around parroting their absurdities.

      They are extremely hypocritical and compulsive pathological liars, who would stop at nothing to impose their Cult-like beliefs and low grade amorality to others. History is full of the consequences of such people reaching posts of authority or leadership eg Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro etc.

      Since they refuse/reject the Evidence for an Almighty Creator/God. The Loving Commandments of God to not steal, bear false witness and coveting are also refused/rejected by them. That's why the atheist choice of an Economical system is of course communism. In communism atheist can feel "comfortable" stealing, robbing other peoples properties, money, goods and their children inheritances.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        No. You can actually learn from atheists. Atheists and Christians have a lot of similar goals and ambitions. We can work together and accept our differences.

        They are our neighbor.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • bostontola

          Most of my neighbors and work mates are Christian. Almost all of them are very intelligent and open to others. None of them have extreme ideas of their religion. I don't know 1 that doesn't accept evolution as a fact (they think evolution is God's tool). It's very easy to have an interesting and civil conversation with them.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We really aren't that different. Except when fanaticism comes into play.

          My church has some programs that atheists and people of other faiths volunteer to help us with, because it is a good cause. It is beautiful to see people come together like that.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "My church has some programs that atheists and people of other faiths volunteer to help us with, because it is a good cause."

          So why does it need to be a Church? If it is a good cause then it is a good cause and whether it's your local fire department hosting it or a Church, the who and where doesn't matter which is why the atheists come and support good causes. Can most Christians say the same? Would they be out volunteering at an atheist event because it was a good cause? From the Christians I have known that would be pretty hard to believe.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          I agree

          February 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          To clarify, my agreement was to Dalahast.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It doesn't need to be a church (I use lowercase).

          I was just providing an example. I also volunteer for a secular program that works in a public hospital. We do a lot of good, too. And I work with a variety of people with differing beliefs.

          Yes. Most Christians would support an atheist good cause if it benefited the community, country or world.

          Yes, there are some that wouldn't support them, too. Some might actually oppose their good works, which is crazy.

          Doctors without Borders is a good example of that. A non-religious group that has secular and religious volunteers that keep it running. That is one that needs to be non-religious, because some find religious groups threatening. Like some Muslims don't like Christian groups coming to their "Holy Land". But secular groups are more welcomed.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
      • bostontola

        When a person makes extreme and overly general statements, the statements carry no weight. They have no value as an insult, or to make another person stop to consider the statements.

        In short, the statements don't matter.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
  5. agolf70

    @Alias

    Ezekiel 18:20: The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
    The penalty of sin is placed upon only the sinner, not the offspring.

    So why did god blame us all for a sin somone else committed?
    @ Alias the difference here is understood in two ways of 2 types of sin
    1Inherited Sin nature
    1Personal sin

    while there are types of sin and curses that are only personal, there literal curse for the sin of Adam, entered his flesh literally, and this is irrevocable. This effected out genetics and DNA, through what Adam did. this sin permanent and is inherited by Cain and Abel. (Cain killed Abel, this was drastic effect of eating the forbiden fruit. )

    February 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and you, a person in the 21st century, can honestly read that cult-speak that you just wrote and not shake your head and think "hang on, what the heck am I doing here?!?!"? You can't look at that fantasy, fairy tale magical voodoo paragraph you just penned and think, "wait a minute, this bears no resemblance to reality, It must be just years of indoctrination making me write this stuff"

      February 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Kind of sad, really.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      It seems the only difference between the two sins is who did the sinning which would certainly point to a biblical double standard.

      Just because Adams supposed disobedience included him eating a piece of fruit, why would that change the sin to be something that entered his DNA? Your entire premise is beyond silly.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • Alias

      Please show where the bible says this.
      Otherwise, this is just desperate.
      You cannot just make things up and expect me to accept it as truth.

      February 15, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
  6. Salero21

    God Created the Camel but men invented the camel cigarettes brand. You can't blame God for that.
    People in the middle east and in North Africa have thanked and praised God for Creating the Camel. Thanks God for the Camels (not the cigarettes). That's why atheism/evolution/idolatry are all Total stupidity. The Bible says so!! Atheists do demonsstrate it all over, anywhere everywhere, all the time anytime, every single time and forevermore. 😉

    February 14, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • Salero21

      That's why Salero21 is Total stupidity. The Bible says so!! Salero21 demonstrates it all over, anywhere everywhere, all the time anytime, every single time and forevermore. 😉

      February 14, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      another loony post from the salt shaker

      February 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  7. joeyy1

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w&w=640&h=360]

    February 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |
  8. Dalahäst

    Hey, I have been brainwashed.

    My parents and a medium sized suburban Methodist church brainwashed me into believing things like the importance of giving rather than receiving and that prayer & meditation are helpful to deal with life's stresses.

    They also brainwashed me into learning about other people's faiths, and even about people with no faith, and the importance to why I should respect them.

    Part of their indoctrination was to allow me to not attend any of their services from the age of about 8 years until now (I haven't been back). I was able to attend a public, secular school (just like I was for the few years I attended the church that brainwashed me.

    I was allowed to learn about the various religions, faiths, sects, and cults that exist. It prevented me from becoming bigoted, promoted open mindedness, and let me freely make informed decisions, whether the decision is to be an atheist, pagan, Satanist, Christian, Muslim, etc.

    I became an atheist at the age of 16 and the people that brainwashed me supported me. They still loved me. Even though I lived in the brainwashing capital of the universe, The Bible Belt, my brainwashed mind continued in atheism.

    I later developed a belief in God, about 20 years later. I haven't been back to that Methodist Church that brainwashed me. I did visit a Methodist Church, and many other churches and other spiritual programs when searching for more about God. But I didn't join. I guess I wasn't brainwashed enough.

    Funny how being brainwashed worked.

    February 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There are many "just plain stupid" people in the world who have not been brainwashed.
      Many people convert to many things. The reasons are many and varied. They are all in your head, whatever they are

      February 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Yes. I agree.

        February 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        The type of brainwashing Dal describes in the OP seems more like teaching someone to drive a car when after almost all the training is done the teacher says "And finally we come to learning about the engine gremlins we need to pray to before trying to key so that the engine will start each time" Yes, all the other lessons to drive are needed but to then throw in an unverified theory to tie it all together ends up creating a false belief system. Sure you might get a whole bunch of the driving instructor students together and all start the gremlin motor club, but that still wouldn't make it true.

        February 14, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I have been brainwashed exactly like that.

          I definitely believe my prayers make my car run. And it absolutely works.

          Spot on observation.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          If you are so dense to have missed my point Eric, then here it is: Almost every single religion has some great moral teachings with many of them mirroring the basics like the golden rule and laws against murder and theft. You can learn these moral teachings from almost any religion as well as from many with no religion. So that part of your argument, the "my parents indoctrinated me in a moral way of life" argument, doesn't hold any water when discussing the need for religious indoctrination when many learn these same morals outside the church so being in the church is merely cooincidental to your morality and not integral in a proper upbringing. And adding "God" into the mix at the end is purely unnecessary as would be praying to gremlins to make your car start after already learning how to drive.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Who is Eric?

          I didn't miss your point. I just disagreed and made a joke about it.

          Somebody insisted that since I believe in God, that means I've been dangerously indoctrinated and brainwashed into holding that belief.

          That is the context in what I originally posted. It was satire.

          I really do learn some good principles in my church setting; like forgiveness, patience and compassion. Honest.

          And I'm free to be critical of everything.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          my bad, it was wolfbitn that I had clicked on and seen the name Eric Jewell who I had been debating last night. I assume you go by the name "KC".

          February 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I live in KC.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • bootyfunk

      do you believe the bible lev 20:13 where it says g.ays are to be put to death?
      do you believe the bible about a world wide flood?
      do you believe the bible that says the earth is 6-10k years old?
      do you believe the bible where jesus says anyone that doesn't worship him goes to hell to be tortured for all eternity?
      do you believe the bible that claims the world was made by a magic sky deity?
      do you believe the bible where it says non-virgin brides are to be stoned to death on their father's doorstep?
      do you believe the bible where it says snakes and donkeys can talk?
      do you believe the bible where it says people come back to life through divine magic?
      do you believe the bible that men with wings are called angels and live in a magic cloud kingdom in the sky?
      do you believe the bible that there is an evil boogeyman called Lucifer that is trying to steal our souls?

      February 14, 2014 at 3:45 am |
      • Dalahäst

        + do you believe the bible lev 20:13 where it says g.ays are to be put to death?

        No. I have not been brainwashed into believing g.ays are to be put to death. I've actually been brainwashed to be tolerant and accepting of them. I am to love them.

        + do you believe the bible about a world wide flood?

        I have been brainwashed to believer there may have been a major flood in human history.

        + do you believe the bible that says the earth is 6-10k years old?

        I have not been brainwashed to believe the Bible is 6-10k years old. What page is that on?

        + do you believe the bible where jesus says anyone that doesn't worship him goes to hell to be tortured for all eternity?

        No. I've been brainwashed to be a 21st Century Christian. That sounds like something a brainwashed fundamental Christian or uninformed non-Christian would believe.

        + do you believe the bible that claims the world was made by a magic sky deity?

        No. I have not been brainwashed to believe that.

        + do you believe the bible where it says non-virgin brides are to be stoned to death on their father's doorstep?

        No. I have not been brainwashed to believe that. I've never met a brainwashed Christian who believes or practices such things.

        + do you believe the bible where it says snakes and donkeys can talk?

        No. I have been brainwashed to believe that there are stories where a serpent and a donkey spoke. But they didn't brainwash me to believe that it is literally true or that all snakes and donkey can talk.

        + do you believe the bible where it says people come back to life through divine magic?

        No. I have not been brainwashed to believe the Bible says people come back to life through divine magic.

        + do you believe the bible that men with wings are called angels and live in a magic cloud kingdom in the sky?

        No. I have not been brainwashed to believe angel live in a magic cloud kingdom in the sky. I have seen such depictions in cartoons, but those weren't necessarily created by brainwashed Christians.

        + do you believe the bible that there is an evil boogeyman called Lucifer that is trying to steal our souls?

        No. I haven't been brainwashed to believe that the Bible says there is an evil boogeyman called Lucifer.

        --–

        I have also been brainwashed to believe that you are guilty of the complex question fallacy. My brainwashers told me some non-religious people sometimes do that a lot, especially ones that post on blogs dedicated to belief.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

        February 14, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • Salero21

        Whaaat!!! How can it be? This is just more evidence of the Total stupidity of atheism. The Bible DOES NOT says anywhere the earth is 6-10 thousand years old. That's just an interpretation/estimate made by some.

        Some laws are Universal eg "Thou shall not commit murder" "Thou shall not steal" which atheists like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc. don't want. The Law that was given to Israel in Mt. Sinai does not applies to the church or to the other Nations. Though Nations and unbelievers will be Judged by the Law or without the Law.

        The church is not and does not have to enforce or follow the laws alluded by the funk. The church IS NOT in charge of this world here and now. The Bible does not says that angels were men with wings. The funk parrots what he heard from other atheists, therefore he is a talking parrot. 😉 😀 😀 I suggest that he/she be made to repeat 4th grade to see if she/he acquires some basic reading and reading comprehension skills and quit being a talking parrot!! 😀 😀

        Not all angels or Celestial being are winged, but again like I've been saying. Atheists are extremely hypocritical and compulsive pathological liars. Which is the biggest evidence of the Total stupidity of atheism. The drunkard church is 999.99% stupidity.

        February 14, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      As an aside, there is a saying attributed to the Jesuits of "Give me the child until he is seven and I care not who has him thereafter." Another variant is "Give me the child till the age of seven and I will show you the man." Though I wouldn't claim you were brainwashed by exposure to your parents religious beliefs. Your parents' choice is probably the wiser choice. Given the ready availability of information from the Internet, attempting to prevent access to other viewpoints is likely hopeless today. I think your parents position is quite commendable. I encounter many people who believe their religion is the one true religion who have never studied the tenets of any other religion, at most basing their views on other religions on the condemnations of those other religions from clerics of their own religion. They just assume they were born into the one true religion. That's certainly the easiest approach as it requires little thought or effort.

      Though, of course, many know little about their own religion as well. I've also encountered many Christians who claim the Bible is the greatest book ever written who appear never to have actually read it. I've also heard many pastors lamenting the lack of even basic biblical literacy among Christians. One poll found 35% of born-again Christians do not read the Bible at all. Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries has stated that among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning.

      The United Methodist Church is more progressive than many others. E.g., like the Roman Catholic Church, and many others, it accepts the theory of evolution. I'm curious regarding your views today. Do you believe the creation and flood stories in Genesis were actual historical events? Do you believe the Bible is inerrant?

      When you say you developed a belief in God 20 years later, I'm assuming you returned to a belief in the Christian god rather than the god of some other religion.

      February 14, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • bostontola

        I agree. I don't consider religious indoctrination brainwashing. Brainwashing is a process of expunging a set of beliefs a person has and replacing them with other beliefs. A parent fills a child's blank slate for the first time. A parents love and a child's trust imprints these beliefs in the most powerful way. The survival value of this approach is easy to see. It also explains why these beliefs are so durable. They form the foundation of a person's entire model of worldly truth. They have proven to be stronger than facts directly observable in the objective world.

        February 14, 2014 at 10:11 am |
      • Dalahäst

        My upbringing is pretty typical. I went to a secular, public high school with a variety of faiths, beliefs and non-beliefs. But it was mostly Christians. I actually don't really know who all believed what: it wasn't that important to us.

        But I do know in church Sunday School I was taught certain principles from the Bible: like respect of elders, honesty and treating other how I want to be treated. Somehow I've held onto those teachings.

        I've met Christians like you describe. I've also met atheists that act that way. Those conditions seem to be more human flaws than flaws solely produced by religious brainwashing and dangerous indoctrination.

        + Do you believe the creation and flood stories in Genesis were actual historical events?

        Those stories are hard for me to believe. But I accept the truths they reveal. There is no requirement for me to believe they were actual historical events. My salvation does not depend on that belief.

        + Do you believe the Bible is inerrant?

        No. I'm told I don't have to. God is inerrant. The Bible is not.

        + When you say you developed a belief in God 20 years later, I'm assuming you returned to a belief in the Christian god rather than the god of some other religion.

        Just God. Jesus, not religion, saves me. There is no "Christian god." God is the God of all.

        February 14, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • bostontola

          Do you believe in any truths represented in the sacred texts of other religions like Hindu or Taoist, or other?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I strive to believe all truths, regardless of where they are derived or revealed from.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          When you say your salvation doesn't require you to believe that the stories of Genesis were actual historical events, doesn't your belief in Jesus require the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 to be an actual historical event in order for the stories regarding Jesus and his resurrection to be believable? After all, if there was not an actual tree of the knowledge of good and evil from which Adam and Eve ate causing Yahweh to curse them and their descendants for untold generations thereafter, expel them from the Garden of Eden, and put cherubim at its entrance with a flaming sword to prevent them from re-entering and eating of the tree of life as well, thus gaining immortality like the god, there is no need for the god to incarnate himself in human form to be sacrificed to himself to redeem mankind from the Fall and original sin. If the creation story is a metaphor as I've heard some Christians claim, then there is no need for the New Testament appearance of a savior to ameliorate the ancient curse placed upon mankind. I have encountered some Christians who view the resurrection story as a metaphor as well, though I find that a much rarer belief among Christians.

          You state:

          "There is no "Christian god." God is the God of all.

          But the Christian concept of God is quite different than that of the god of Judaism and of Islam. For those other religions, it is blasphemous to claim that God assumed human form or is a triune god. And, of course, the Christian god is quite different than that of non-Abrahamic religions. E.g., the biblical concept of god differs greatly from the Hindu Brahman and that of the supreme deity of countless other religions. Does one have to belief that Yahweh incarnated himself as Jesus to achieve salvation?

          February 14, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I'm saved by Jesus. Not by anything I believe or by anything other people believe.

          God has a plan of redemption for his whole creation. Not just for Christians who literally believe the origin stories in Genesis.

          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.

          – Peter Gomes.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          Dalahäst, thanks for the Peter Gomes quote. I'm not familiar with his writings. When looking up your quote to learn a little more about him, I found it comes from his book “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus”, which I've added to my "to read" list, though it may be awhile before I get to it, since the list is already long. For any others that are interested, there is a longer excerpt from the book posted at http://sharpiron.wordpress.com/tag/peter-gomes/ – that posting indicates the author is Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Member of the Faculty of Divinity AB, Bates College, STB, Harvard Divinity School.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is a great book. Unfortunately Gomes has passed away.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8AuGp99QSw&w=640&h=360]

          He also engaged in a good debate with Christopher Hitchens (RIP) that is on YouTube.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I learned respect for my elders, honesty and treating others as I would be treated from my parents. No god or religion involved. I also learned that I am responsible for my own actions and that forgiveness requires actual contrition and amends to those you have hurt, not just saying sorry to the mythological being of your choice. It's not a difficult task, being a decent human being without a god. Some of the finest people I know are atheists.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know some very fine atheists. That is why I have never said religion is required to be a good person. I learn a lot from atheists. Mostly from the open-minded ones. But even the closed-minded atheists teach me a lesson.

          My point is my religious teachings weren't brainwashing. They emphasized important principles. Especially of the spiritual nature, like compassion and forgiveness.

          Being so great doesn't come as naturally to most people like it does to you. We didn't all have such great parents to learn from.

          For some, it is difficult to do good things like respect and tolerate others. Or forgive or have mercy on those in tough situations.

          I should never say: "Look at me I'm good. You should be to. It is so easy."

          No. It really isn't that easy. Not in this complex world.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • tallulah131

          My point was that religion is not really necessary. Some of the worst people I know use religion to excuse their very selfish actions.

          Once you choose to let others determine your morals, you abdicate your own responsibility to determine right from wrong using the real facts of a situation. A 2000 year old myth is not a fit replacement for honest decision making.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, religious people can be selfish.

          I know non-religious people that use things to excuse their very selfish actions, too.

          I don't let others determine my morals. I am responsible for my actions. "You reap what you sow."

          I don't use a 2000 year old myth to replace honest decision making.

          And nothing in my religious beliefs asks me to do that.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • kudlak

      Dalahäst
      As you know, I wouldn't call you brainwashed, but I do think that you were indoctrinated into believing all this God and spirituality stuff because you seem to have just accepted it uncritically. To me, the fact that we can't prove the existence of God, or the supernatural, is reason enough to reject the claims that they actually do exist. Can you think of a single other thing that people should just accept without proof?

      February 14, 2014 at 11:23 am |
      • Dalahäst

        You are free to think I haven't thought about this critically or imagine I have no proof.

        I don't think people should accept something without proof. I don't. I don't expect others to either.

        Just because you imagine I have no proof or haven't thought about this critically, doesn't mean I have no proof or haven't thought about this critically. It just means you imagine that.

        And I don't live in your imagination.

        You are not telling me anything new. I have heard this all before. I can go onto various atheist websites and read these same theories.

        I get it. You are an atheist. I am not. I have no problem with you. Why are you so insistent on trying to prove to me you are right?

        February 14, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • agolf70

        Hey Kudlac

        the first time i though i had a vision , I questioned everything and i realized unless I write the dreams down, I could not legitimately look back and remember a dream, and compare it to a later experience.

        So I write them down in the middle of the night. Since then, 8 years ago, I have experienced over 30 answers to dreams.

        here is another example of spiritual revelation. there is a gift called "interpretation" where there will be someone else who is the "conduit" or dreamer.

        i was staying in a dorm and i was sick . going to sleep. and someone threw a t.p. roll at me and racked me when i was asleep. I was sick , and this greatly irritated me and hurt. and i was being made fun of as about 4 guys stood there staying "oh austin is trying to sleep" . so i asked myself in my head "i wonder if they have the spiritual ight in their eye"

        because i had been reading this parable matt 6 22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,c your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy,d your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

        then I stopped myself from judging them for doing me wrong.

        but in the morning, one of those kids came up to me and said "i had this dream last night that i was going around looking in peoples eyes to see who was possessed or not by if they had a candle light in them or not"

        That right there, was a spiritual revelation. now if it only happened once, then it would be questionable, but i have the gift, and this type of stuff happens to me on a regular basis.

        4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

        7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues.b 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

        these gifts have to be "tested" because they are not prophetic authorities like the old testament prophets who had authoritative direct revelation.

        the example above was not a prophetic dream like i have had 30 times, it was an interpretation.

        February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have a similar experience. Thanks for sharing.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
  9. Dalahäst

    I will moderate. Don't worry, I won't let my diabetes sway my decisions in regards to sweet snacks. Or my high blood pressure sway my decisions in regards to salty snacks. I am totally not resentful of the jerks, I mean, people who can eat those things without fearing instant death.

    February 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Apple?

      February 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Dalahäst?

        February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          They deleted a bunch of my posts. They do that.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I kinda suspect Dala is the moderator.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The moderator of this board? Your susp.icion leads you astray from the truth.

          Apple Bush saw my posts get deleted.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
  10. Dalahäst

    Facts or snacks?

    February 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Debate it out!

      February 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Vic

    This universe and life in it are "Prima Facie" evidence of God.

    February 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
    • midwest rail

      No.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOLOL Good one.

      February 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      No they aren't. They are proof of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. The council of gods created a race of divine children, (since they are omnipotent), and gave the children the power to create robots who could make universes. The children cooked up a game about who could make a more cruel perplexing universe. One of the robots make a Spaghetti Monster, and gave it the power to make universes also. Therefore it IS evidence that this story is true, just as much as yours. All the conditions are met. You can't prove it's wrong. It's a true as your story.

      February 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
      • bootyfunk

        very well said, realbuckyball.

        he can't prove my dog, my blender or my left nut isn't god. does that mean all 3 are gods? according to someone that is fail in logic, i suppose so.

        you can't prove a negative. the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. you say there is a god, the burden of proof is on you.

        RAMEN!

        February 14, 2014 at 3:49 am |
    • kudlak

      Vic
      No, you have to be taught that they are in order to believe that, just as Hindus are taught that these things are evidence of their gods. If you want to convince people who actually take a critical eye to such claims you had better bring some evidence.

      February 14, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • archtopopotamus

      Not even close, Vic.

      February 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Actually, Vic may have a point. At first glance, a person with no point of comparison may believe that this world and life are signs that a super-human creator exists. Humans have historically invented gods to explain the unknown. But once a person is introduced to actual fact and evidence, "Prima Facie" belief is replaced by informed disbelief.

      February 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    @wolfbitn

    Put a topic on the table and let's debate partner. Come on, you can do it...

    February 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • JakeSeaVik

      Not gonna happen...just like all religious views, it's about smoke and mirrors. He says, "I have the answer, I have proof, but I'll only tell you about it if you come meet me in the alley...ALONE!" Uh huh...

      February 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        Just admit it... you dont have anything to put on the table in a moderated debate, and youre afraid you wont be able to refute what I have to put on the table... all i see are excuses as to why trolls cannot debate in a moderated forum.

        February 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The only troll I see here is you, wolfie.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I have plenty... Im the one making the challenge. It is the atheist running from this not me.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You're a funny person, wolfie. Really. Your ego is an amazing thing.

          February 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          my ability to shut you down in a moderated debate is just as substantial as my ego.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • JakeSeaVik

      And with that, he disappears like a fart in the wind...

      February 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Yup.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
    • hotairace

      And why is a moderator needed? There's no way one debater can talk over another in an online forum such as this, and being able to view the debater's words would make it easier to review, investigate, fact check, etc. each debater's statements. This guy is just another run away and hide bullsh!t artist.

      February 13, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        Debating DOZENS of Atheists in various forums has taught me that if it is not moderated, the atheist turns into a troll. They refuse to answer any point that challenges their belief. Moderators can note this and deduct points, keeping it a debate and not a trollish fiasco. I do however enjoy watching you all squirt and grasp is the straws that excuse their inability to actually debate 🙂 That in itself is fulfilling and speaks more than a mouth full.

        February 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Basically, wolfie is demanding that impossible conditions be met because he/she is trolling.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Yes... the impossible conditions being that myself and any number of atheists meet in a moderated forum to ensure a truly moderated debate... making sure no one ducks questions and points. It IS possible for me to do this, as I've done it before. So it must be impossible for an atheist here to meet in a moderated debate? Atheist Trolls were trolling here way before I logged in, and I'm not trolling... I am issuing a challenge none of you have the guts to accept.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • tallulah131

          No, wolfie. You are simply presuming that people think you have something of value to offer. No one is afraid of you, ducks. If your claims can't stand up to scrutiny here, then they won't stand up to scrutiny anywhere else.

          February 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          you have nothing to scrutinize because you are running from the challenge. Accept it and you may scrutinize and whimper away.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      By public debate, was this guy trying to meet in person? That would be kind of creepy. But after all the build up, I'm a bit disapointed he did not share his theory.

      February 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
      • hotairace

        I think he did share it – it was nothing!

        February 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          The problem with your thinking is showing again... you read me state i WOULD NOT share it without being in a moderated forum, simply because Atheists dont know how to keep to a true debate and turn into trolls... like you. You havent got the slightest idea what I would present. You certainly arent up to accepting the challenge, your constant trolling and misleading sidetracking proves this. If you ARE up to the challenge then shaddup and take it and lets move on to the real thing.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • hotairace

          This is as good a forum as any. You are a coward with nothing new to offer. Won't be long before you run away.

          February 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          And why is a debate even necessary? Publish your crap here and let each reader decide for themselves if it's worthy of a debate, or even a reply. Looking more and more like you have nothing, or that you have already run away.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I have laid out some for a few reasonable people here who know how to discuss things... which is why youre not in those conversations lol. If you don't have what it takes to debate this in a public moderated forum, you don't have to try to cover it with your false bravado/trolling. It just makes you look desperate and without any sort of reason.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        I think you can likely find it at http://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/107793-why-faith-vs-science-and-not-faith-and-science/page-6 where there is someone using the same handle WolfBitn.

        February 14, 2014 at 12:07 am |
      • wolfbitn

        Public debates are rarely in person with the advent of the internet lmao. I am just happy to prove the point that none of you trolls had the guts or intelligence to accept a challenge for a truly moderated debate. Make fun of yourselves if you cant stand the actual heat.

        February 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I could just as easily say it is you who lacks the guts to present your argument, right here, right now. I challenge you to do so. But I would not stoop to your level and call you a coward. I would just accept that you enjoy a different format. First, I'm not technically an atheist, but I have no interest in a moderated debate. That's why I come here. You like debates, I come here. But good luck to you in you endevours.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          No you cant... I will meet any of you or all of you in a moderated debate. I have the guts and the intelligence. I'm not the one running from this challenge.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
  13. bostontola

    Hierarchy of some of the God belief.

    There is no way to prove a deist God does not exist. I feel such a God would be irrelevant to humans, but that is a matter of taste.

    The Jewish God is somewhat distasteful given its jealous and vindictive nature. it's bible contains errors and contradictions, but that could be attributed to the human translation (I don't think Jews claim the bible is the literal word of God).

    The Christian version of God is simply not tenable. The fundamental foundation is false, Jesus did not pass the Davidic Messiah test. In fact, he failed it miserably. Many of the philosophical aspects of the religion were a dramatic advance for mankind and I am grateful (even including the Crusades and Inquisitions, witch trials etc).

    February 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • robertbeliefblogginbrown

      How does Jesus not pass your messiah test?

      February 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        robert,
        scan down about 5 OPs.

        February 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
      • Bob

        Robert, the Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story does not pass any test of reasonability, and in fact it is mostly a sham. Since it is foundational to the Christian religion, the religion itself is fundamentally nonsense. Consider this: how is it that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers, or simply roll back time and change its course?

        Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        February 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        No he doesn't meet ANY messiah test. Not a king. No victory. No kingdom. No restoration. Nothing.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
  14. Jaymes

    I have noticed that a lot of the replies are from the same people and it looks like you are on here all day. Are you all retired? Do you have a night time job?

    February 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Some of us work from home and get bored sometimes.

      February 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I post as I wait for my computer to render out projects.

      Sometimes I have to stay late because I keep posting after the rendering process is done.

      February 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
    • derado8

      This is my Sunday. I work weekends.

      February 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
    • JakeSeaVik

      I'm an atheist, so have the brain-power to work and debunk religion at the same time. Frankly, the latter doesn't take much time.

      February 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        You kind of remind me of this:

        http://aafwaterloo.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/your-superiority-complex-annoys-me/

        "The Superior Atheist believes that its position as an atheist grants it an intellectual superiority above all others. It argues that its position as an atheist allows it access to a truth that more feeble minds have been unable to attain. You may hear it make statements such as, “religion is the sole cause of all wars, 9/11 happened because of religion and no other reason”, or, “the only reason for the existence of faith is a fear of death.” Such statements are, of course, wrong. They are highly simplistic analysis of the complex world in which we live. Failing to account for other factors they leave much to be desired as explanations for how the world and the people in it function. Not that it matters to the Superior Atheist. "

        February 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "The Superior Atheist personality seems to develop as a result of finding a new way to view the world. You come to feel that not only is religion a load of childish fantasy, but that is also the cause of all of humanity’s ills. It allows for you to shout out angrily at all that is wrong in the world to exclaim, “if we eliminated religion, all of the violence and hate in the world would end!” It may also be described as, “the angry atheist phase” But unlike some theists who may say to this atheist, “you are just going through a phase, you’ll see the light eventually” other atheists should be committed to guiding this atheist along the path of atheism. The key is to point out that their constant anger towards religion may be misplaced. It is also possible that this atheist will simply cool down, over time. They will look back and realize the immaturity and irrationality of pointing a finger at religion every time something goes wrong."

          Amen.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "We should not hesitate to criticize the Superior Atheist when it states an idea that is clearly absurd. Just as we eagerly go on the attack when a theist speaks aloud whatever nonsensical thought passes through their head, the same should be done to the Superior Atheist. They must be asked the tough questions. Have they ever thought their ideas through or have they simply held on to them because thinking in that manner provides a self-gratifying mental stimulus?

          Finally, reducing the number of Superior Atheists will be beneficial to the movement as a whole. Our critics enjoy pointing out atheists who act as if they are better than theists. That’s an image we do not want."

          That was from an atheist, fyi.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          "Such statements are, of course, wrong."

          Of course. Oh wait, no, they're not.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          " It is convinced that the idiocy and ills of the world can all be laid squarely at the foot of faith. They strut about confidently, basking in their own self-glory, proud that they have shaken free of the shackles of the intellectual inferiority caused by being a person of faith. Yet, they fail to realize that they have done no such thing. One is not granted a special place simply because they are able to see the follies of faith. It is very possible, as has been demonstrated, that one can lack adherence to religion but still subscribe to ideas driven by blind faith."

          February 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        Maybe that's because youve never debated me. Do you have a venue for actual public moderated debate?

        February 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          LOL, a venue? Like I said, go ahead and make your case if you have one. If you won't do it here, maybe you should hire Don King.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Nah dont need Don. I've done this in plenty of venues and I still have plenty more invitations. Here though is not a moderated debate. Moderation would insure EVERYONE has to answer the hard questions posed at them. I spoke up with this challenge to silence some of the idiotic trolling. I dislike trolls. I prefer mature purely scientific debate.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          This is not a good venue for a serious debate. There are not objective moderators available.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Exactly. There is a strong anti-BP bias present on this blog. It will distort proper judgement.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you for BP or against BP? Those against BP have been brainwashed to believe that way, FYI. Nobody is born against BP.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Have you read The BP Delusion? Total garbage in my opinion.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Sorry no I haven't.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That was to Apple Bush. His posts were deleted so it doesn't make sense now. 😦

          February 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          No problem...

          February 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Wolf, if you have something to say, say it. There's no such thing as a scientific debate that includes religion. You're in an inferior position, so I get why you're afraid to post your view.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          This is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Your lack of knowledge is exposing itself.
          If you dont have the guts for a moderated debate thats fine... I do and it is an OPEN invitation to ANYONE and any number of people.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Btw wolf, the word is ENsure. Pet peeve of mine when people don't get the difference between the words ensure and insure.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Well would you be too intimidated then to participate in a debate with me in a moderated forum to ENSURE that we both answer all the hard questions?

          February 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • tallulah131

          No one is intimidated, wolfie. You are just another anonymous internet poster making an empty claim. You just aren't that important.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          You just dont have the guts or intelligence... one or both.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Wrong again, wolfie. I just don't have the interest. By your own comments, you've proven you have nothing. Give it a rest, little troll.

          February 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I've only proven I am the only one making the challenge to an actual moderated formal debate... and I am the so called "Christian"...

          February 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  15. wolfbitn

    I will put out this challenge. I see some Christians proclaiming faith, but offering little in ways to prove or refute. I see some Atheists making sport of these Christians, but then they aren't offering anything either.

    This is my challenge. My hope is that someone or many someones who are credentialed will take me up on this. Regarding "creation" or the beginning of everything, big bang, expansion, singularity, whatever you choose to think or believe, I make the bold claim that I can demonstrate that "God created" is a theory more scientifically sound than anything else that can be put on the table.

    I suggest a moderated debate at a neutral site. We can lay out our theories and defend them. We can question each other as often as we like and we are all, each side, bound to give answer to those questions. Moderators will award points for good answers, and take them away if someone cops out on an answer. Then let the listeners/viewers/readers decide for themselves who presents the best case.

    No credentialed person accepting this challenge will be refused a debate, and I honestly don't care if I have to debate a panel. You still will not be able to place anything on the table that is more scientifically sound.

    It would be great if CNN itself were to sponsor such a debate... if it has enough courage. 🙂

    Any takers? We can work out the details right here right now.

    Peace
    Wolfbitn

    February 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I am laughing at you. Sorry, can't help it.

      February 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      wolfbitn debate:

      wolfbitn, "Faith"
      Atheist, "Facts"

      Atheist wins.

      February 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        You can trust that before I posted this, i knew uneducated idiots would troll... but you're just proof that YOU DO NOT the guts or intelligence for a real moderated debate.
        Now... anyone out there with the guts AND intelligence to take this on?

        February 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          What's with the name calling?

          February 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Let's debate this right here. You start with a premise and I will respond.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Oh wait, it is already over!

          wolfbitn debate:

          wolfbitn, "Faith"
          Atheist, "Facts"

          Atheist wins.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Again.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • bostontola

      Wasn't this just done? https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/04/creation-debate-recap-science-religion-and-terrible-jokes/

      February 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        Not with me. My name is not Ken Ham, nor do I believe what he believes.

        February 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I make the bold claim that I can demonstrate that "God created" is a theory more scientifically sound than anything else that can be put on the table."

          Please give us an example of what you can "put on the table" since so far I have never seen even the tiniest bit of evidence to suggest that anything supernatural exists. Why should I waste my time debating someone with actual science and evidence of the age of the earth, the neanderthal DNA we all share, the evidence for evolution and the mountains of science to support the big bang as the singularity we can trace the universe back to? If your argument is "well you can't PROVE my God doesn't exist!" then the debate is pointless as you cannot prove leprechauns don't exist either.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          see, already that's:

          wolfbitn: 0
          atheists: 3

          February 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @neverbeenhappieratheist
          I am happy to put that on the table in front of absolutely everyone. As soon as someone is willing to accept this challenge and equally willing to present their theories. Any number of credentialed opponents from any and all scientific fields are welcome to team up.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Put it on the table right now right here. This is as close as you are going to get to a CNN debate. If you don't, you are a liar.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I'm ignoring you from this point on, and talking to atheists of reasonable and educated nature. I actually started to ignore you a few posts back... let this be official ...Have a good day 🙂

          February 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I'm ready. Put it down.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Happy to Jack, good to meet you. Before we start, may I ask your area of expertise? Physics, geology, paleontology?

          February 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Advanced degrees in Engineering. And you?

          February 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I am a simple researcher with no degrees. I do however enjoy Hawking, Guth and others who are credentialed. My fields of study however include Theoretical physics, astrophysics, geology, paleontology, and theology, most especially theology based on the earliest manuscripts, and NOT based on translations. When you put all the facts together it can be very eye opening and answers a lot of questions. I can assure you though you will not be disappointed. What I put on the table is testable theory. Also a moderated venue protects us both in debate and insures that we both answer the hard questions and nothing is ducked. It is either answered or a simple "I dont know" can be offered, but everything is addressed. Im sure that would be fair to both sides in any debate.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Hilarious. You have no degrees, yet you demand to debate someone with credentials.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          A researcher doesnt need degrees if their research is solid. My point is clear though, and atheists here who were poking fun at Christians and ridiculing, havent got the guts to take on a moderated debate with a lowly researcher. For people who pride themselves on being educated and not 'backwoods believers' you sure are an immature and ignorant bunch. Your ideas as a whole pale in the light of evidence and reason.
          So when someone is actually ready to take on a moderated debate, you do yourselves a great dis-service in openly displaying such ridiculous immaturity and measures used only by trolls. You make yourselves look very uneducated. You portray the opposite of what you profess as a group. Understand this is not pointing at you personally, but the atheists here as a whole.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Sorry, Wolfie. You're just another believer making empty promises and silly demands. If you have proof, present it. If it's solid proof it will stand, no matter the credentials of your critics. If it isn't solid proof, then it doesn't matter anyway.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          You have no idea what would be presented. Neither will you find out if all you have to offer is rhetoric and excuses as to why not an atheist out there has the guts or intelligence to debate this in a moderated forum. You guys imply it would be hands down and I have nothing to offer... but you seem afraid to take that step to prove me the fool you imply I am.
          I am the one offering to take on all takers... not a one of you are making this offer nor are you accepting it. Thus you reveal all you have to stand on is rhetoric and trolling. Easy Peasy

          February 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I don't have any idea what you will present. And I have no interest either, since you seem to lack the courage to present it without setting a bunch of impossible conditions. You bring nothing to the table that is interesting or valuable, so you are very easily dismissed.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          A moderated debate is an impossible scenario? Why is this? Are you really going to stand by this remark? lmao

          February 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Heck, I suppose that there might be someone out there bored or stupid enough to jump through all the hoops you demand. But frankly I don't think that it's possible for you to drum up enough interest. If your claims stood up to reason, you wouldn't be so reluctant to present them.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Been there and done it on many occasion. Better men than you have accepted the challenge. They lost, but at least they gave an honest effort. My only interest here is separating the trolls from the ones who really do wear their big boy pants. You would be the former so far.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Here's the problem: there is no definitive, proof positive information that either side can employ. These are positions that are based on divergent philosophical presuppositions, and " never the twain shall meet.". I'm also of the opinion that after listening to a couple of "creation"/"first cause" debates, it eventually just becomes a lot of yadayadayada from both sides.

      February 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        I simply make the claim that what I would put on the table is in fact more scientifically sound as an actual theory, than anything that can be presented by an atheist. Those wanting to see something for free (by free I mean having none of their own work invested) will just have to wait until someone accepts the offer.
        I can promise you a lot more than blah blah however. I wont cheat anyone with rhetoric.

        February 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I'll give you my theory for free.

          Based on the evidence I believe the universe is the only thing that could be considered eternal. I believe this based n the 1st law of thermodynamics that shows that energy can neither be created or destroyed. This means the universe has always existed in some form and I believe that form is a flux state between matter and dark matter. The fact that we have discovered empty space isn't really empty shows that there is a massive amount of the universal mass in the form of dark energy and it's my hypothesis that this dark energy is what was breached into this universe and caused what we know of as the big bang. I believe this energy has been endlessly moving between these two states of existence like a mobius strip. We may never know how many times life has evolved from matter and then been reborn into a new universe.

          Now please present your God theory and why it is more reasonable than my theory, unless of course you don't actually have an argument which is why you are being so evasive about your belief.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @neverbeenhappieratheist
          Interesting thought regarding a flux between matter and dark matter? How would you set about testing this? Also do you think this transition or flux would have occurred to create the type of Expansion suggested by Muth and Hawking?

          February 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          We have a pretty good idea about how much is there by measuring the orbits or distant stars and galaxies, as to how dark matter or dark energy is transformed into matter or energy is unclear but that is exactly one of the mysteries they are studying with the LHC. Why are there two sets of physics rules? One for quantum physics and one for Newtonian physics, and the reason for this is not known, but we can and are studying both for a better understanding of how the two interact. I am facinated by the phenomenon of what Einstein called "sp oo ky action at a distance" which we can observe but not yet understand. I think these discoveries will answer the question of how dark energy exploded into our universe creating the radiation we can now read as the big bang event and giving motion to our universe, and with motion we get time, with time we get a readable and testable time line.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          Wolfbitn, if you are interested in debate on your ideas in a moderated online forum open to everyone, there are a couple of Reddit subreddits specifically for such debates:

          http://www.reddit.com/r/debateanatheist
          http://www.reddit.com/r/debateachristian

          The first subreddit listed above currently has 10,666 subscribers and the second currently has 8,461 subscribers. You see postings to subreddits to which you have subscribed on your front page when you log in. No one needs an account to view posts and comments, only to post or comment himself/herself.

          If you post to the /r/debateanatheist one, you should get responses from people with a wide variety of backgrounds.

          The subreddits are mod/erated to limit trolling. Those viewing the debates have the opportunity to comment on others' postings and upvote or downvote each posting.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:18 am |
        • wolfbitn

          Thank you very much for the information. I will show up in both places over the weekend.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "Here's the problem: there is no definitive, proof positive information that either side can employ."

        Here are the two sides:

        Man 1 "There is a God!"

        Man 2"No there isn't!"

        Moderator "Please provide evidence of your claim Man 1"

        Man 1 "My evidence is that Man 2 can't prove my God doesn't exist!"

        Moderator "What say you Man 2?"

        Man 2 "My evidence is that there is no evidence for God. Anytime anything happens in the material universe, which is all we are discussing right now, it leaves trace evidence. The lack of evidence for a universal creator is the evidence that there is no universal creator."

        Moderator "What say you Man 1?"

        Man 1 "My evidence is that Man 2 can't prove my God doesn't exist!"

        Moderator "I believe Man 2 just addressed your claim, what evidence can you provide to support your claim of a God?"

        Man 1 "My evidence is that Man 2 can't prove my God doesn't exist!"

        Moderator "sigh..."

        Man 2 "sigh..."

        February 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          y be your style of debate and what you may present, but it is not at all representative of my debate. Mine consists of legitimate theory, which is more than I can say has ever come from an atheist. (No offense intended) So please, feel free to accept, but don't pretend you've ever heard my theory or known anyone who could refute it. Again no offense. I see a lot of excuses for avoiding a moderated debate, but no one at all who seems serious about taking up the challenge.

          Kinda sad that there would be so many ready to ridicule something when they cant even produce a theory to support their views.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          While you were writing your snarky and inaccurate reply I posted my theory above. Please feel free to present your own.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @neverbeenhappieratheist. The point remains but the snarky part was intended for apple bush... sorry about the mix up 😉

          February 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          The idea that you could possibly offend an atheist by implying you're in a superior intellectual position is cute...but more so, outrageously funny. Don't worry, nothing you can say will offend us!

          February 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          arrogance noun

          an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people

          February 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Adjective: Delusional

          Maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts

          February 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          de·lu·sion·al
          [dih-loo-zhuh-nl] Show IPA
          adjective
          1.
          having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions: Senators who think they will get agreement on a comprehensive tax bill are delusional.
          2.
          Psychiatry. maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness: He was so delusional and paranoid that he thought everybody was conspiring against him.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I left out the psychological part because I know you're testy about admitting there is brain-washing involved. But you're right, the full definition better-captures religious delusion.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is a big difference between religious belief and mental illness.

          Religion fundamentalism at the hands of dangerous indoctrination or brainwashing? Yea, that is like a mental illness.

          Is general belief in God indicative of mental illness? No.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          If you want to confront people with facts in order to determine if they reject them for things that are not facts, perhaps you should decide what a fact is. Is the proposition that God does not exist true?

          February 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nice to see a non-theist understand that about facts. Of course, most do in my experience.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • Austin

          not true

          February 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      eric, In your last post you said you had won all debates, if so, are there videos posted of these debates?
      Basically the case against the bible is presented mutiple times daily. We have knowledge that shows the bible is not correct in the majority of its claims specifically creation of the universe, origin of species. No evidence for the bible has ever been presented. You may not believe exactly what Ken Ham believes but you also have no evidence of a god.

      February 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Please send the URL's to the debates on You Tube. I want to see them!

        February 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        Santa, I appreciate your more measured response and reasonable questions. The rest is simply opinion, no offense intended. These debates were done in various venues and some of them can still be found. Also my debate stems on what is actually stated in the earliest manuscripts, and not the translations. Translations sometimes lack, and if an uneducated church is using translated material it leaves a lot of room for error.
        I am assuming you would follow some of the most popular beliefs with an atheistic flavor. Do you agree with Hawking that everything began at a point of singularity?

        February 13, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          "These debates were done in various venues and some of them can still be found"

          Where? I want to see them. I believe you are a liar.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @Apple Bush
          You obviously arent going to debate it. So think what you want. There are however reasonable people here that you could obviously learn from. If you are not a paid stooge you're and you're serious, you are making atheists look very immature and foolish.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          So you lump all atheists into one bucket then, yes? That is absurd. Atheists are as different from one another as species. I would be MORE than happy to debate you, right here on the blog but you won't. You are a liar, that much is clear.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Do you agree with Hawking that everything began at a point of singularity?"

          The fact that a singularity occurred is not up for any serious debate, the evidence for it is overwhelming. The only thing creationists have any hope of debating and not looking like complete fools is the belief that God was the cause of the singularity. On this point they have no evidence so it is just their personal opinion that they spread as fact because no one likes to think their wrong about something.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Well, I somewhat disagree on both points. Although the singularity seems to be possibly the post popular of plausible theories, it is still a theory and not "fact". I have no problem though granting the singularity some credence. But this is where the theory I would present takes off to fill in the gaps left out necessarily by atheists.

          The Genesis account however, doesn't imply what a lot of creationists like Ken Ham hold to. Not only is the Genesis account giving a scientific lesson 5000 years ahead of its time, it presents it's evidences as testable proof.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Is this question related to the Guth paper?

          February 13, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Pardon my typo... yes Alan Guth.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Good read. Very mathematical. If you are going where I think you are, why does the thing behind the veil always have to be God?

          February 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          It doesn't have to be. But what if 3500 year old literature actually told us this even when popular thought said the world is flat? What if it laid out our entire earth's history as relayed by the earth itself with its strata and fossils? My point is that the bible itself presents both the theories AND the ways to test them to prove them accurate? And what if this test could not be falsified? This my friend, is what i would present.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Why the obsession with the debate format?

          February 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • hotairace

          So, after 2,000+ years of Babble Humpers failing spectacularly at making their case for their alleged god you, an apparently unschooled theologian, have discovered the secret to definitively revealing the existence of a god, but won't actually get on with it, apparently because no one here is a suitable debate opponent and/or this isn't your preferred forum. Who else thinks we've heard this bullsh!t before?

          You sir, in my opinion of course, are just another religious whack job with nothing new to add. But go ahead, prove me wrong.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          You have not been here for hundreds of years to know any of the past arguments. If you dont have the maturity and guts to take on a moderated debate, you dont deserve to speak here 🙂

          February 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • Woody

      Apparently, the way I read your challenge, you're a firm believer in the Christian god and want to debate atheists about the existence of that particular god. If you lived in ancient Egypt, the subject of the debate would be the existence of Ra, Osiris or any number of other gods in vogue at the time. If you lived in ancient Greece, the subject of the debate would be the existence of the various Greek gods. If you lived in those times, you would have been just as certain of the existence of those gods as you are now certain of the existence of the Christian god. All of these gods have the same things in common, they're based on ancient, word of mouth, hand-me-down stories and there's absolutely no credible evidence that any of them ever existed, NONE!!! No matter how firmly you believe, wanting something to be true does not make it true. This debate would be like you in a gun fight with an empty gun.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        You make way too many assumptions. If you think you know it all, it should be easy to make me look like a fool in debate. Accept the challenge if you like, but anything else will be considered trolling by people who have neither the guts nor the intelligence to debate in a moderated forum

        February 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Woody

          "............it should be easy to make me look like a fool.........." – wolfbitn

          'Nuff said.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Then accept the challenge and do it, or tuck your tail

          February 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Woody

          Sorry, I no longer have the tail that my ancient ancestors had. That's evolution for you. Maybe you should consider debating the existence of Santa Claus with a young child. I believe that would be more in your area of expertise. Goodbye.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @Woody Uhhh yeah you do have a tail, but if its genetic or not i don't know.... but everyone reading this just saw you tuck it.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
  16. xirume

    The bible is bÜllshìt.

    February 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
  17. Salero21

    Nothing much to learn here, other than atheism/evolution and idolatry are all Total stupidity. Atheists themselves are the biggest proof of it!!! 😀 😀 😀

    February 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      more feeble trolling from the salt shaker ...

      February 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Don't you kind of post in a similar manner? Except instead of anti-atheist you just do anti-Christian?

        I'm having trouble seeing how you can criticize him, yet do something just like him right below this post.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Salero21, did you just call The Central Scrutinizer stupid?

      February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • Salero21's brain

      Nothing much to learn here, other than Salero21 is Total stupidity. Salero21 herself is the biggest proof of it!!! 😀 😀 😀

      February 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
  18. bostontola

    I'm still stuck on the whole Jesus is the son of God thing.

    On this blog and in other places I see Christians quote OT verses with prophesy that they interpret Jesus fulfilling (sometimes with quite a bit of poetic license). My problem is, these are speculations that aren't even agreed upon by believers, and not interpreted the same by believers.

    There were actual criteria laid out in the OT specifically to be used to determine if a person was the Davidic Messiah. This wasn't prophesy, it was a scorecard where all criteria is objectively determinable. These were not meant to va.gue or loosely interpretable. They were a litmus test so the contemporary people would know, there and then, that this was the guy. No faith would be required, no check to cash later. It was not meant to allow partial credit, get 5 out of 6 and we'll consider your case. Certainly not, we'll wait 2,000 years for the criteria to be fulfilled. Some elements of the criteria:
    1. have the correct genealogy by being descended from King David and King Solomon,
    2. be anointed King of Israel,
    3. return the Jewish People to Israel,
    4. rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem,
    5. bring peace to the world and end all war,
    6. bring knowledge of God to the world.

    I don't know how a reasonable person could say Jesus met these criteria. Did he meet any of them, much less all of them?

    I doubt the OT verses that cover this material is preached in churches very often.

    Some people doubt whether Jesus is a real historical person. I can't even get to that question when he fails the test as the messiah. There were lots of false messiahs in that time, lots of good people. Christianity is the product of shrewd marketing by the apostles as far as I can tell.

    February 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • colin31714

      what is the biblical cite for this test? Do u have the actual chapter/verse?

      February 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        He must be a member of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and a direct male descendent of both King David (I Chronicles 17:11, Psalm 89:29-38, Jeremiah 33:17, II Samuel 7:12-16) and King Solomon. (I Chronicles 22:10, II Chronicles 7:18)

        He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel. (Isaiah 27:12-13, Isaiah 11:12)

        He must rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1)

        He must bring world peace. (Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 11:6, Micah 4:3)

        He must influence the entire world to acknowledge and serve one G-d. (Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 40:5, Zephaniah 3:9)

        February 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          OK ... come on Colin ... admit that bostontola is correct here and that your jesus character did not fulfill the criteria of the messiah.

          you can't live in denial and pretend that this was never proven to you. In the same way as I would believe in your god given any evidence, you must at least acknowledge it when evidence shows a flaw in your belief system.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • theophileo

          What they did not (and do not) understand about eschatology is that the Messiah would have an advent, and then a returning. The prophecies spoke of occurances in each appearing of the Messiah as if all the events happened at once. Like looking out at a distant mountain range and seeing the mountains, but not the valleys in between. The valleys they couldn't see were the time spans between fulfillment of prophecies.

          One prophecy specifically Jesus wept over for they SHOULD have know that Jesus was their Messiah, and that is the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          oh theo, you guys really do just make this sh1t up as you go along, don't you?!

          February 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          theophileo,
          That is the standard rationalization. There is no reasonable evidence of that. As I said, the OT was very clear on this. This is probably why faith is so key in Christianity. You need faith that the criteria was something that could be fulfilled more than 2000 years later.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • theophileo

          "oh theo, you guys really do just make this up as you go along, don't you?!"
          ------
          No, this is first year seminary stuff...

          February 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • joey3467

          Not to mention that Daniel was most likely written some 3 centuries later than it claims.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • theophileo

          "Not to mention that Daniel was most likely written some 3 centuries later than it claims."
          -------
          The only reason that folks claim that is because Daniel is actually a really good example of fulfilled prophecy, and the only way that atheists can explain it is to say it was written after the fact.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Is it really a prophecy if you tell someone you are going to do something and then you do it?

          Supposedly God wrote the bible telling people he would come and die for their sins, then he writes down in the bible that he did as he said he would. Can that really be considered prophecy in any real sense from a believers perspective?

          February 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          thophileo has got to be the former Larry of Arabia.....same style of pompous blather, same boasting of studying a comic book in depth for 30 years

          February 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • colin31714

          Thanks bostonola.

          dyslexic Dog, you assume incorrectly that I was asking out of disagreement.

          Theophileo, you said, "this is first year seminary stuff..." So. That doesn't mean it is not a fabricated rationalization. It just means it is a fabricated rationalization that is taught in the seminaries. It beats me how any thinking person makes it 6 months into the seminary without realizing what utter garbage Christianity is at its core.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • saggyroy

          So his mother Mary was a direct descendant of King David? Remember Joseph wasn't the father.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston , Jesus was linked to Kings David and his son Solomon in Luke 3- 23 I remember that Mary was also decended from the line of David, However the Father was always used in matters of lineage. As for the bringing back of the Jews to Israel, this happened in 1948 . As for the rebuilding of the temple ,it was still standing after Herod rebuilt it but was again destroyed in A.D. 67 or so. It is supposed to be rebuilt sometime in the future, but as the Dome of the Rock sets where the temple should be , that's a problem that will have to be worked out first.The reign of peace is the 1000 years of peace that occurs after the final conflict of the armies of God and Satan at Armageddon. So three of those prophecies are in the future. I Am not a Bible expert ,but I hope this helps.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • Heaven Sent

      I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm feeding off your fat drippings for all of eternity. My 12-year-old daughter quit smoking but her kids have not. Keep throwing stones at the water and see which ripple gets you to heaven.

      Amen.

      February 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        oh no HS, you forgot to take your meds again! 😦

        February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • bostontola

        Without worms, the soil would not get turned and plants would falter, the animals that feed of those plants would then decline as would the predators that feed off them (including us), so yeah, I like worms.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • Heaven Sent

          We Christians come on these articles to tell satanists the Truth of God's wisdom. Prideful, indignant atheists. I drove my electric wheel chair to the dollar store but they were out of toilet paper. No problem. When will you atheists listen in your hearts for the whisper of Jesus' breath?

          Amen.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          Heaven Sent,
          Please, point out the errors in my OP.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          nuttier than squirrel poop.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Heaven Sent

          bostontola, you atheists come on this blog because you want to be mini-gods. You are jealous that Jesus is the Lord and Savior. My stretch pants don't fit anymore but the diapers help. Keep standing on the wrong side of the stream and see where you end up.

          Amen.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          I invited you to refute my point.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          boston, I think that is a fake HS.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...a fake HS."
          Ya think ? HS = Opposing View = CentralScrutinizer = AB. Pretty simple.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          mid
          I could be wrong – these parts are pure HS
          "We Christians come on these articles to tell satanists the Truth of God's wisdom. Prideful, indignant atheists. ......... When will you atheists listen in your hearts for the whisper of Jesus' breath?"
          This part seems incongruous
          "I drove my electric wheel chair to the dollar store but they were out of toilet paper. No problem."

          They all have a similar structure.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          @midwest rail

          Replace "Opposing View" with "Ungodly Discipline" and you are right on.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • midwest rail

          I forgot one – Ungodly Discipline is another fave of theirs. All AB.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
      • bostontola

        Threats in lieu of addressing the point with facts that refute my point, that is quite unusual (sarcasm).

        February 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • believerfred

      bostonola
      "1. have the correct genealogy by being descended from King David and King Solomon,"
      =>There are 2 genealogies in the New Testament one set out for the Jews from Matthew was the important one. That genealogy was never contested by the then present leaders of the Jews. If they could have disproved this there would be no need to crucify Jesus on false grounds at Passover.

      " 2. be anointed King of Israel"
      =>The Priests begged Pilate to take down the sign over Jesus "King of the Jews". He said what I have written I have written.

      "3. return the Jewish People to Israel"
      =>The requirement never said when and the Jewish People were returned.

      "4. rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem"
      =>destroy this temple and I will raise it up again on the 3rd day. The Temple is the place of God. It is within the believer. When Jesus rose on the 3rd day we see the Holy Spirit descend on the Apostles and every believer to this day. That happen in Jerusalem.

      "5. bring peace to the world and end all war,"
      => Anyone that wants the peace which transcends all understanding can have it. That peace was brought yet man chooses to live by sword and die by the sword.

      "6. bring knowledge of God to the world"
      =>it was brought you rejected

      February 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        fred, Ignoring the fact there is no evidence of a god, the majority of people reject your god.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        fred,
        I would not grade that as a passing grade for the messiah. That is why you need so much faith, Jesus failed the test.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • bostontola

        "1. have the correct genealogy by being descended from King David and King Solomon,"
        =>There are 2 genealogies in the New Testament one set out for the Jews from Matthew was the important one. That genealogy was never contested by the then present leaders of the Jews. If they could have disproved this there would be no need to crucify Jesus on false grounds at Passover.

        Jesus is clearly not a male descendant of either David or Solomon.

        " 2. be anointed King of Israel"
        =>The Priests begged Pilate to take down the sign over Jesus "King of the Jews". He said what I have written I have written.

        Anointed is a technical term with it's own criteria, not self anointed.

        "3. return the Jewish People to Israel"
        =>The requirement never said when and the Jewish People were returned.

        Yes, it was to happen in the messiah's life time.

        "4. rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem"
        =>destroy this temple and I will raise it up again on the 3rd day. The Temple is the place of God. It is within the believer. When Jesus rose on the 3rd day we see the Holy Spirit descend on the Apostles and every believer to this day. That happen in Jerusalem.

        This is rationalization to the extreme. The rebuilt temple just didn't happen.

        "5. bring peace to the world and end all war,"
        => Anyone that wants the peace which transcends all understanding can have it. That peace was brought yet man chooses to live by sword and die by the sword.

        There is not peace today or just about any time in the last 2000 years.

        "6. bring knowledge of God to the world"
        =>it was brought you rejected

        Partial credit, people did this, not the messiah.

        Total score: 1 out of 6 (being generous)

        February 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • believerfred

          "3. return the Jewish People to Israel Yes, it was to happen in the messiah's life time.
          =>last I heard Jesus rose on the 3rd day and sits in judgment of this world. Jesus is very much alive in the kingdom of God and has power over all to this very day, including this world

          February 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          The Jews were not returned to Israel.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • believerfred

          If you are speaking of those Jews who were in crowd "the people answered and said, “His blood be upon us and on our children.” You are correct

          Jeopardy question: What is the name given to the established Jewish state in 1947

          February 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          like I said, at the time of the messiah. It is useless as a criteria 2000 years later.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          If you are speaking of those Jews who were in crowd "the people answered and said, “His blood be upon us and on our children.” You are correct

          Jeopardy question: What is the name given to the established Jewish state in 1947

          February 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          Ok, it is disingenuous for me to argue against what you claim here as one of the reasons Jesus had a problem in his day was that the Jews expected a King like David, they expected someone to free them by hacking up the Romans in a mighty King like manner with a big sword. Jesus was nothing like what they expected. Their actual expectations at the time would overrule my speculations of that time.
          Thanks for catching me on that.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • believerfred

        bostonola
        1. Genealogy is not in dispute according to Saul of Tarsus, an outstanding and respected Jew of that time, whose written record is not in dispute "King James Version of Romans 1:3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

        February 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          In Judaism a descendant is only through the male line. Jesus didn't have a human father, therefore he couldn't be a descendant of David or Solomon.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • believerfred

          No, the laws you refer to where you extracted the requirements for genealogy are specific to an adopted male being equal to a biologic male. This is why the blood line through Joseph was important.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          That is wrong. Ask any Rabbi how descent is determined. Also, there is no good evidence that Mary descended from David and Solomon.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          The Rabbi's I know claim they have not read the new testament. Read the book of Acts and see what these evil leaders of their faith were doing to Christians and anyone that would claim Jesus was the Christ.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
      • new-man

        fred,
        thanks for confirming my thoughts.
        another thing I've learnt from observing this board, you only share/give your pearls with/to those who appreciate pearls 🙂

        February 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          Thanks! I just give, hopefully God will open the hearts of some to see the pearl. Remember a pearl starts out as an irritant in an oyster.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
      • believerfred

        bostontola
        " 2. be anointed King of Israel Anointed is a technical term with it's own criteria, not self anointed
        =>anointed by God "this is my son" and they saw the dove descend upon him. A King has authority in his kingdom and there is no doubt about that. If you toss the Bible as evidence which is filled with reference to Christ then you must also toss the basis of your complaint since that came from the Bible also. Cannot have it both ways.

        February 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          These were criteria for men to judge if a person was the real messiah. Your justification is after the fact. That would have no value to the people who were to recognize the messiah. Also, how can you use the NT as evidence since it represents the thoughts of people who already believe in Jesus and didn't use the established criteria from the OT. This is the true birth of faith for Christianity. Since Jesus fails the test, you have to have faith in the fabricated new criteria written after the fact.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          Actually, Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews which is why it is formatted the way it is. There is much argument from skeptics that the genealogy was jury rigged so as to shoe horn Jesus into the legal blood line. If this was not the case then Matthew a Jew and certainly Saul of Tarsus a Jew would have known that you were right and they were wrong.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          use of the NT to justify Jesus as the messiah makes no sense, it was after the fact. The OT had criteria, Jesus fails that criteria. Your faith allows that.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          Believerfred, in replying to you, I presumed I was replying to an adult, not an "innocent child" and was surprised that you responded with an "innocent child" defense rather than addressing my criticism of the items in your posting.

          I was also surprised to see your comment about the Bible's "childish simplicity", since that is how you seem to be describing it. That was a view held by Albert Einstein who wrote in a 1954 letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkind “the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” He also described religions, including Judaism, as “an incarnation of the most childish supersti tions.”

          In regards to your comments about innocents, the Old Testament deity had no qualms about their slaughter, e.g., the flood he supposedly sent to wipe out almost all of humanity, including children and infants, because he was angry with humanity and regretted his decision to create humans. Though the Bible does indicate he felt remorse after he decimated his creations and promised never to do it again after Noah pleased him with the aroma of a burning animal sacrifice.

          In the biblical legend of the exodus from Egypt, a story for which there is no archaeological nor historical evidence, he slaughters the first-born children of the Egyptians, even those of slaves who had no role in Pharaoh's decisions. In the Old Testament, he often punishes children for the infractions of their parents and even grandparents and more distant ancestors. In 1 Samuel 2 there's the story of the curse placed on the descendants of Eli for taking the prime cuts of meat from sacrifices to Yahweh, a god fond of holocausts, i.e., animal sacrifices, for themselves. And Deuteronomy 5:8-10 and Exodus 20:4-6:

          "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..."

          Do you believe it is just to punish children for crimes committed by their parents, grandparents, and other ancestors?

          There are other Old Testament tales in which he doesn't kill the infants and children himself, but advises his followers to do so, e.g., 1 Samuel 15:3:

          "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destory everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."

          Of course, there are many other passages equally as reprehensible. Perhaps you envision a "loving God", but the Old Testament deity is a cruel, petty, vindictive, jealous god. Granted, Christianity has evolved away from the fire and brimstone portrayal of its deity that was once much more widely promulgated from the pulpit and most Christians today choose to ignore much of the Old Testament, but it is still part of the Bible, and for many others not so easily ignored by claims that the god changed his nature after assuming human form for a time, so that he no longer gave his followers such reprehensible dictates.

          February 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • believerfred

          alonsoquixote
          "Do you believe it is just to punish children for crimes committed by their parents, grandparents, and other ancestors?"
          =>With our without the existence of God children are the products of their ancestors. With that comes not only the information within the DNA but that passed on many other forms. Most parents believe they could have done better or perhaps protected their own when they did not for what ever reason.
          =>If there is no God as you claim all the terrible things inflicted upon children happened nonetheless. This would include genocide of all sorts by nature or man the product of nature. Einstein may see the observed suffering as a constant in the subset of existence in a cold uncaring universe. What you are addressing is purpose outside of that subset which has effect inside and outside of that subset. You, I and science cannot observe that purpose only the effect from inside that subset.
          =>We have in the Bible a 6,000-10,000 year history of mankind addressing that purpose from the perspective its all about them and that all things work to the good of those who believe. We have the other perspective which sees only the subset within which they exist and typically discount anything that is not observable and verifiable by scientific method. This is understandable but it is not rational or logical to take a purpose you admit you cannot see or comprehend then apply it to a constant.
          Certainly you have observed that this knowledge of purpose has had affect upon the chosen ones and still does to this very day. You cannot discount what you observe because you claim that is all you will accept. All you can do is attempt to justify it. You cannot deny the impact on their lives and the impact on your life.
          If something has fulfilled the promises given you cannot argue rationally against it you can only justify your observation. Interesting that even the promises concerning your thoughts and life have been fulfilled except of course for the last one which is that every knee shall bow.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " "Do you believe it is just to punish children for crimes committed by their parents, grandparents, and other ancestors?"
          =>With our without the existence of God children are the products of their ancestors. With that comes not only the information within the DNA but that passed on many other forms. Most parents believe they could have done better or perhaps protected their own when they did not for what ever reason."

          A textbook example of fred pretending to answer a question without ever addressing the actual question.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          midwest rail
          Ok, my brain just went into overload I cannot answer that it is unjust if God allowed it. Smoke comes out of my ears and I shut down. Perhaps mankind still cannot handle the knowledge of good and evil.....I can't for sure.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        Believerfred:

        1. Have the correct genealogy by being descended from King David and King Solomon – Like many Christians you "prove" the Bible is true by pointing to passages in the Bible. And you claim one genealogy, the one in the Gospel of Matthew was the important one and simply ignore the discrepant genealogy in the Gospel of Luke in a book that was supposedly inspired by a god. And you also simply choose to ignore the fact that neither of the conflicting genealogies for Joseph matters if he wasn't the father of Jesus, but, instead his father was a god, who is also the son, if you are a trinitarian Christian. There is no historical evidence that the biblical character Jesus ever was crucified or even existed, which is why you like many Christians take the tact of supporting the authenticity of the Bible by pointing to its tales as proof that its tales are true.

        2. Be anointed King of Israel – Again you "prove" the Bible by pointing to one of its tales as proof of its stories. The Christian writers, not wanting to make a Roman the villian in their crufixion story, portray Pontius Pilate as a poor Roman forced by a Jewish mob to acquiesce to its demand for Christ's death. Doubtless, that was a good choice to make it easier to convert Roman citizens to their newly created religion and to lessen the likelihood of the Romans stamping out their nascent religion, but the portrayal of Jews as regicides resulted in centuries of Christian persecution and killing of Jews as "Christ-killers." But the portrayal we have of Pontius Pilate from historians of the time such as Josephus is not one of such a meek, easily intimidated Roman leader who would be willing to bow before the pressure of Jews.

        Pontius Pilate routinely killed thousands of Jews. In an incident reported by the historian Josephus, he slaughtered multi tudes of Samaritan Jews on a spiritual pilgrimage to the holy Mt. Gerizim led by a religious fanatic who promised to reveal sacred vessels buried by Moses. After that incident Pilate was recalled to Rome by the emperor Tiberius and according to the philosopher and historian Pilo charged with "corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, and endless and intolerable cruelties." He was hardly someone who would have had qualms about the death of someone regarded as a Jewish rabble rouser nor someone who would have given much heed to Jewish demands.

        3. Return of the Jewish people – In Isaiah 11 one finds in regards to events that will occur with the appearance of the messiah: "But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them." The Philistines, whom the Bible depicts as the Kingdom of Israel's most dangerous enemy, haven't existed for over two thousand years.

        4. Rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-3, 56:6-7, 60:7, 66:20; Ezekiel 37:26–27; Malachi 3:4; Zech. 14:20-21). The temple was still standing in Jesus’ day. It was destroyed 38 years after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion and it has not yet been rebuilt. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., before many of the Gospel tales were written. The destruction of the temple likely made those Gospel stories written after it had been destroyed more appealing to some Jews. They were expecting their god to have them rule the world and yet even their temple had been destroyed by the Romans, so they were then living in a milieu in which there would have been doubts about what their religious leaders had told them, which would have provided an opening for a new religion with tales of a messiah who had come and gone.

        5. Bring peace to the world and end all war – you simply ignore the fact that wars still rage throughout the globe making the prophecy unfufilled.

        6. Bring knowledge of god to the world – The Jewish tribes before 1 A.D. consti tuted only a small portion of the world's population. Why did the god not care about all non-Jews prior to 1 A.D.? Did all those countless millions who lived and died before Jesus supposedly appeared who weren't Jews have no chance at a happy afterlife in heaven when they died? And what of the countless millions who lived in China, Australia, Europe, North and South America, etc., prior to missionaries arriving to tell them about Jesus? Were they all doomed to damnation? Christian missionaries didn't arrive in China until the 7th century A.D. In the New World, the Spanish carried Christianity to the Dominican Republic in 1494 when they set about enslaving the native populace. Why was the god constrained by the limits of human transportation and his followers lack of awareness of the larger world outside of the Middle East. Being an all-powerful deity couldn't he have notified everyone at once that he had decided to ameliorate the ancient curse he had placed on all mankind for countless generations by incarnating himself in human form in the Middle East and then requiring humans to believe that had occurred in order to avoid damnation and, instead, gain a happy afterlife. Why was he unwilling to provide evidence that Jesus was his avatar; after all Jesus could have visited the Roman and Jewish authorities after he resurrected to prove he was a godman.

        February 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • believerfred

          alonsoquixote
          The first words out of the serpents mouth "Did God really say that?". All this talk about how smart and advanced man is today and just look at yourself. You highlight the Divinity of the Bible with all its childish simplicity yet cannot see that your voice echoes the same sticky snare that separates mankind from the love of God. "did God really say that?" You must be new here in the playground of the godless hoping to take down an innocent child that just discovered what it means to be really loved. People ask me how can a loving God send anyone to hell and I think about what kind of person sets out to smash hope and love that was found out of desperation. It takes a great deal of patience and mercy for God to look at the things people do to the innocent ones.

          Like the great high Priests who carried out the sacrifice of the perfect lamb of God (at their own Passover feast none the less) oblivious to what the were doing. A ritual they practiced for generations upon generations carried out on a man called Jesus. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do was the reply from the one sacrificed.

          Why? because God so loved..............not complicated........we were created in that image to love as God loves. "Did God really say that?"......yes God did and it was expressed through creation from the beginning ....and God said it was very good.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:21 am |
        • Alias

          ATTACK THE MESSENGER!

          February 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • realityyyyyyy

      As noted previously:

      Hmmm, let us see what some of the experts (NT, historical Jesus scholars) have to say about the "Son of God/the Father references in the NT:

      Matt 7:21
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

      Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb111.html

      Matt 9:6 Passage notes "Son of Man" not Son of God.

      http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb127.html
      Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

      "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

      Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb045.html

      "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

      Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

      20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

      "Bruce Chilton

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

      Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

      http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb058.html
      "Gerd Lüdemann

      Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

      ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

      "John P. Meier

      The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

      We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)

      Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

      Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

      February 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    there is no god.

    all the rest that we argue about is just noise.

    the noise enables christians to duck and weave and dodge and obfuscate and lie and pout and whine and threaten and flee

    when all we need to know is that there is NO evidence for any god. not one iota. never has been, never will be. zero. nada. nothing!

    all the rest of the arguing about the stories in the Christian story book is just noise.

    February 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I have bible readings with my kids anytime we are in a hotel. We just laugh and laugh. Good times.

      February 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        LOLOL

        February 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        I am one of the Christians you seem to be laughing at. Your problem is that I have debated Geologists, astrophysicists, and paleontologists publicly, and each time they had to walk away saying that "God created" is the most sound theory that was laid on the table. Not a single one was able to even produce a viable theory as to "creation" or how we and everything that is came to exist.
        Laugh all you like... but if you were to accept my challenge for actual moderated debate, you would be forced to walk away in the same manner they did. I will watch for your acceptance.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          eric, Are there videos posted of these debates?

          February 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Oooh, yes I want to watch the debates!!

          February 13, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • believerfred

      What good would it be for you if you were given proof. Name one proof that you would accept that is more evident than existence and the fact everyone at some time seeks God. I do not recall anyone asking for Zeus on their death bed.

      February 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • joey3467

        god appearing in the sky to the whole world at the same time and telling us that he is real and to believe in Jesus or go to hell. Or perhaps some aliens come to Earth and try to convert me to Christianity.

        February 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I am open to anything that is provable and factual. I am amazed by new discoveries in this world and in this universe every day.

        If your god or any god appeared today, I would believe. If your god or any god spoke to the world today, I would believe. If your god or any god showed his or her presence in ANY way, I would believe.

        but while you ask me to believe your bonze age voodoo without a shred of proof other than your laughable book of fairy stories, I will continue to shake my head in amazement at your infantile dim wittedness, and continue to live in the light of the real world.

        your religion is a scam that ret.ards the progress of the human race and harms my family and my life, so I will continue to fight it with every ounce of my being.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        "Name one proof that you would accept that is more evident than existence and the fact everyone at some time seeks God."
        Existence is not evidence of a god. Do you have evidence that everyone seeks a god?

        "I do not recall anyone asking for Zeus on their death bed."
        But presumably people would ask for Vishnu or Amaterasu on their death bed.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • joey3467

          that is because by the time fred was born Christians had killed off all the people who believed in Zeus.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • toleranceofall

          ...except that Greece fell to the Romans in 168 BC...over 150 years before the birth of Jesus...

          February 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm thankful most just say "I'm an atheist" and skip the proselytizing and dogmatic-like rants. I guess I have some great atheist friends. 🙂

      February 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • joey3467

        I'm thankful that Christians can't go around killing anyone that disagrees with them anymore.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Actually they can. But most choose not to.

          I oppose anyone that kills people that disagree with them. Whether they happen to be Christian, atheist, agnostic, non-religious, super religious or just plain mean.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • joey3467

          Just thought you would want to know how Christianity spread throughout the world.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh hu. Sounds a bit too simplistic to be sufficient.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Read the history of christianity in the Americas, Dalahast. Then perhaps you'll get a clue.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
  20. The Central Scrutinizer

    In case you have not yet found this, to remove the blue hyper-link from your name, simply click on the icon in the upper right hand corner of this page (the square with the person). Remove the web address.

    February 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      To change your display name, click on "Public Profile" and type in the name you want to use.

      February 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.