April 5th, 2014
08:56 AM ET

When God plays the villain

Opinion by Joel S. Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Most modern people tend to distinguish between the wrathful God of the Old Testament and the merciful God of the New Testament.

In our age, the merciful God reigns - or so we like to think.

But every so often, stories or books or natural disasters summon visions of a wrathful God, and nowhere is that more in evidence than in the biblical story of the Flood, now brutally depicted in Darren Aronofsky’s new film “Noah.”

With our notion of a God who loves us all individually, especially the little children, we struggle with a deity who would wipe out all of humanity. Surely there were many innocent people, children, who died in the Flood?

But let’s be clear: This is our problem, not the Bible’s.

According to the biblical story of the Flood, it was not individuals who were wicked; it was humanity as a whole, a wickedness encoded in humanity’s very nature. Young, old, male, female, “every plan devised by humanity’s mind was nothing but evil all the time,” says the Book of Genesis.

Nor is the Flood intended to eradicate humanity’s wickedness so that we might begin anew as a peaceful species, as the film “Noah” seems to suggest.

In the Bible, Noah and his descendants don’t promise to behave differently after the flood. Rather, God learns to accept their inherently evil nature: “Never again will I doom the earth because of humanity, since the devisings of humanity’s mind are evil from their youth.”

We are who we are.

In fact, according to the Bible, the reason that God accepts human nature is because we are the only species that can give him what he wants — which, in the view of Genesis, is bloody, burned animal sacrifices. (So much for the pro-vegetarian angle of Aronofsky’s film.)

MORE ON CNN: Does God have a prayer in Hollywood?

The God of the Old Testament is not uniquely protective of children. After all, this is the same deity who commands the Israelites to slaughter their enemies, “man and woman, young and old.”

The same God who accepts without comment Jephthah’s sacrifice of his own daughter, who allows children to be mauled by a bear for taunting one of his prophets, who threatens Israel with such devastating famine that they will be forced to eat their own infants.

Innocent lives are rarely a moral problem for Israel’s God.

Consider the debate between Abraham and God over the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asks his maker, “Will you sweep away the innocent along with the guilty?”

Abraham succeeds in talking God down to sparing the city for the sake of 10 innocent lives. When the city is then destroyed anyway, we are left to surmise that there must have been fewer than 10 good people there. But there might have been nine — and they burned with the rest.

Aronofsky must have recognized our modern moral conundrum: His depiction of humanity outside the family of Noah is almost entirely negative, so that we feel very little compassion for them. Even as they clamber for space on mountaintops as the waters rise.

MORE ON CNN: Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions

The one exception to humanity’s general wickedness, a young woman who does not make it onto the ark, stands in for all the innocents swept away in the Flood.

But how innocent is she, really?

The film hews close to the Christian notion of original sin: Noah states quite forcefully that humans have all been corrupted since the expulsion from the Garden.

From that perspective, there are no truly innocent humans, regardless of how innocently they may behave.

In the film, the only real innocents are the animals. They remain so, one character says, because they behave as they did in Eden. Which, of course, is more than anyone can say for Adam and Eve. Notably, Aronofsky does not show any animals drowning or struggling for life, though they also must have.

Again, this is not a problem for the Old Testament: The animals are as inherently guilty as the humans. “All flesh” — animals included — “had corrupted its way on the earth,” we are told in Genesis.

So, we have to separate our notion of innocence — and of God’s nature — from that of the Old Testament authors.

The God of the Old Testament does not love humans; he barely tolerates them. The relationship is not one of affection but one of necessity and of obedience.

We are promised that there will never be another Flood because God wants and needs our sacrifices.

The family of the patriarchs is chosen out of all humanity not because they are somehow more righteous but so that they can exemplify correct obedience for the other nations of the world.

Israel is saved from Egypt not out of love but in order that they will be uniquely beholden to God and will serve him — again, with sacrifices — in the way that God most desires.

Israel’s God is not a beneficent one. He is, in the words of his prophet Nahum, “a passionate, avenging God; vengeful, and fierce in wrath.”

It is not his job to keep us happy and comfortable; it is, rather, our job to make ourselves uncomfortable that he might be appeased.

And yet there is no question that the Old Testament God is not the same God we know and worship today, in modern America.

How, then, do we, who still hold the Bible dear, reconcile our idea of God with God’s actions, in the Flood story and elsewhere?

One possibility is simply to take the Bible at its word: All of humanity, and indeed all of the animals too, was wicked, and even Noah was not entirely righteous but only the most righteous of his wicked generation, as an ancient Jewish tradition stated.

The moral problem is then not why everyone perished, but why — as the movie version asks — anyone was saved at all.

Another possibility is to attribute a shift in personality to the deity: from wrathful to merciful, in line with the division between the Old and New Testaments.

For those who believe in a new dispensation with the arrival of Jesus, this option seems relatively easy. For those who don’t, not so much.

A third choice is to fall back — quite easily — on the essential unknowability of God.

We are not granted the same understanding or perception as is the deity. Which is to say: We have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Whichever of these paths one takes — and there are surely others — we are struggling with the same basic problem, trying to find some solution that will bring the God of the Old Testament into line with our modern God.

In other words, it is our changing concept of God, over two millennia, that is responsible for the moral dilemma. It’s our problem, not the Bible’s.

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 opinions in this column belong to Baden. 

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A flood of reviews for 'Noah'

Is 'Noah' film sacred enough?

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Death • Faith • Judaism • Media • Movies • natural disasters • Opinion

soundoff (1,259 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    If I was powerful enough to have created the universe, I wouldn't have a hissy fit and drown the world because people didn't do what I said. I am delighted to say that’s the difference between me and your God.

    April 7, 2014 at 9:33 am |
    • whippstippler7

      I vote Dyslexic for God! Hurray for Dys!

      Ummm – Dys – now that you ARE god, could you maybe wave your magic wand and add a little length and girth to my, um, magic wand?

      April 7, 2014 at 9:38 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Do you believe in permanent incarceration to justly convicted criminals of certain heinous crimes?

      April 7, 2014 at 9:45 am |
      • whippstippler7

        There is no comparison between jailing a human for the rest of their natural lifespan for committing a horrible crime and torturing someone for all of eternity simply because they fail to believe in a god for which there is no proof of.

        April 7, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "There is no comparison between jailing a human for the rest of their natural lifespan for committing a horrible crime and torturing someone for all of eternity simply because they fail to believe in a god..."
          Actually, it's a great ana.logy.
          A life sentence is designed to be punative. So is hell.

          Hell is not intended to be a “corrective” punishment, rather, Hell is a reflection of God’s punitive wrath. That is, Hell is not designed for correction but as a reflection of God’s ultimate justice.

          Like a life sentence given to a convicted serial killer, hell is designed to be a permanent incarceration given to those who refuse to repent of their sins. God’s love offered through His grace for salvation is not unconditional; it depends upon a person’s willingness to repent – and when a person chooses not to repent of their evil ways, God will incarcerate them in the place called Hell.

          “Until we know the power of divine grace, we read in the Bible concerning eternal punishment, and we think it is too heavy and too hard, and we are apt to kick against it, and find out some heretic or other who teaches us another doctrine; but when the soul is really quickened by divine grace, and made to feel the weight of sin, it thinks the bottomless pit none too deep, and the punishment of hell none too severe for sin such as it has committed.
          (“Confession of Sin Illustrated by the Cases of Dr. Pritchard and Constance Kent”)”
          Charles Spurgeon

          April 7, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • whippstippler7

          @ Theo – it amazing me that intelligent people, such as you, fail or refuse to see just how monstrous that concept is. Do you have children? If so, is there ANYTHING that child could do that was so evil that you would feel justified in keeping them locked in your basement, torturing them constantly, for the rest of their lives?

          Can you not see that a god that operates under such a regime is an immoral monster?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Do you have children? If so, is there ANYTHING that child could do that was so evil that you would feel justified in keeping them locked in your basement, torturing them constantly, for the rest of their lives?"
          Of course not. But the Bible doesn't say that we are "all God's children." We're not. Some are God's children, the rest are "children of wrath." Some are spoken of as being from "your father, the devil."

          There comes a point in time in God’s dealing with men and nations when He abandons them so that they may reap the unintended consequences that their own sinfulness produces. This is done in order to bring about not only chastisement for their sin, but ultimately for the repentance of His people (See Ezekiel 16). But if people will not repent of their deeds once they have lived with the fleshly consequences of their sinful actions, and if they remain in a lifestyle of sin, they will die and go to hell.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • whippstippler7

          Theo, you strike me as an immoral person. Seriously. Why does your god murder babies? They have done nothing wrong. They are innocent. Yet your god slaughters them by the boatload. How can you follow such a monster. There is NO justification for that.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "They have done nothing wrong. They are innocent."
          If they were innocent, then they never would have died. The Bible tells us that "the wages of sin is death." So only those with a sinful nature can die. That is why Jesus said "No one takes my life, but I give it up." Since Jesus had no sinful nature, then He had to miraculously give up His life....

          God lawfully has the right to execute judgment upon anyone. The Bible says that all people have sinned against God and are under his righteous judgment. Even those too young to commit any sins, are still sinners through their legal representative, Adam. Therefore, their execution is not an arbitrary killing nor is it murder. Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. When God authorizes the nation of Israel to wipe out a people for instance, it is a lawful execution due to their rebellion and sin against God. Such an extermination can be seen to be merciful by delivering the young into the hands of the Lord and possibly saving their souls by not giving them time to become "utterly sinful". Additionally, further generations that would have arisen from the perverse culture, are likewise prevented from coming into existence and spreading their sin. Finally, one of the reasons that the Lord is so strong in the Old Testament and orders the killing of people is to ensure that the future messianic line would remain intact. The enemy, Satan, began his attempt to destroy God's people in the Garden of Eden, by also trying to corrupt the world (which led to Noah's Flood), by trying to destroy Israel with attacking armies, and by encouraging Israel to fall into idolatry by exposure to other cultures as well as intermarrying women from those cultures. The result of both the idolatry and the interbreeding would have been the failure of the prophecies that foretold of the coming Messiah which specified which family line the Messiah would come through. The Messiah, Jesus, would be the one who would die for the sins of the world and without that death there would be no atonement. Without the atonement, all people would be lost. So, God was ensuring the arrival of the Messiah via the destruction of the ungodly.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • whippstippler7

          @ Theo – do you even read what you spew??

          If they (babies) were truly innocent, they wouldn't die?

          A newborn baby is killed in a tsunami, or an earthquake, or whatever. Do you actually believe that baby wasn't innocent, by virtue of the fact that it's dead? Have you ever held a newborn baby?

          THIS is what religion does to people: it poisons their minds.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Do you actually believe that baby wasn't innocent,"
          The point is, no one is innocent. We are not sinners because we sin, rather, we sin because we are sinners. Think about it like this, do you have to teach your children to lie, to steal, to hit other kids? Nah, they do that stuff on their own without being taught. It is our very natures that are fallen, and like an inherited disease, we inherit our sinful nature through our legal representative, Adam.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          You can become probably the FIRST PERSON in history to answer this question:

          What SINS were COMMITTED by EVERY child, baby, fetus and human embryo that justified torturously KILLING them?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "What SINS were COMMITTED by EVERY child, baby, fetus and human embryo that justified torturously KILLING them?"
          Romans 9:11-13 – for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

          April 7, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Yes. Like everyone else, you couldn't name ONE SIN COMMITTED by them.

          Here's a case of TORTUROUSLY killing people for something they HAD NOT DONE.

          God is such a nice, empathetic being.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Yes. Like everyone else, you couldn't name ONE SIN COMMITTED by them."
          You err in thinking that the committing of some deed makes us sinners. That is not the case. We sin because we are sinners from brth. No, a child in the womb has done nothing wrong, but that doesn't make them sinless.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          lol. Get serious.

          KILL someone for SINS they DID NOT COMMIT? You admit they DID NOTHING.

          God can sure be BRUTAL and lack EMPATHY. This sure makes him look awful.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          "Even those too young to commit any sins, are still sinners through their legal representative, Adam."

          Funniest thing I've read in a long time. "Legal representative". Classic!

          God said he wouldn't punish people for the sins of their ancestors. Guess you missed that, but keep the humor coming.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "God said he wouldn't punish people for the sins of their ancestors. Guess you missed that, but keep the humor coming."
          If you are going to insist on only ever having but a cursory understanding of scripture, then I suggest you don't quote it because you are continuously taking things out of context.

          Each of us is responsible for our own sins, and we must bear the punishment for them. We cannot share our guilt with another, nor can another be held responsible for our transgressions.

          There is, however, one exception to this rule, and it applies to all mankind. It is seen in Romans 5.

          Through the sin of one man, Adam, sin and death spread to all mankind. But through the act of one man, Jesus, redemption comes to many through faith.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Why do so many Christian HYPOCRITES CHOOSE negative verses when dealing with gays rather than CHOOSE the MUCH MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule?

          April 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
      • kudlak

        A primary aim of criminal justice systems, however, is to rehabilitate criminals. Hell isn't about rehabilitation, is it. It's more like God's gulag camp where he sends his political prisoners, those guilty of thought crimes, never to be seen again. Only, these gulags are imagined to be worse than any labor camp Stalin ever dreamed up, and this punishment for thought crimes way beyond anything found in the book 1984.

        April 7, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "A primary aim of criminal justice systems, however, is to rehabilitate criminals. Hell isn't about rehabilitation"
          But the criminal system also recognizes certain people who are not fit for rehabilitation, and are not allowed to be reintroduced to society. For that reason, it is deemed necessary to keep them separated from society for the rest of their natural lives. This is nothing more than punative punishment.

          So it is with God's justice.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • whippstippler7

          People aren't tortured continuously in jail, Theo. Your god – you know, the murderous monster – tortures for all of eternity. Why is your god such an AZZhole?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "People aren't tortured continuously in jail"
          Well, define torture. Many would argue against a life sentence because it is deemed cruel and inhumane. Also, what prison system are you talking about? One here in the USA? What about Mexico? What about Russia?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          So, you want to equate God's justice to a Mexican or Russian jail?

          I guess you really do have to go outside of planks with democratic ideals, and developed concepts of human rights to get to God's brand of justice, right?

          April 7, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "So, you want to equate God's justice to a Mexican or Russian jail?"
          You know that was not the analogy. It seemed that the thought was that punative imprisonment here on earth either didn't exist, or that if it did, it was not in any form, torture. Those who may make that claim have never visited a prison or spoken to inmates under that condemnation.

          If you feel that an eternal torment is too harsh, or that a good and loving God would never send someone to hell, then you’ve not realized how utterly sinful that sin truly is.

          God is infinitely holy, and could never look favorably upon sin, and an offense against the holiness of God is an infinitely wicked deed done in open rebellion against the God who created you – that deed requires an infinite amount of retribution to atone for, and one that you, being a mere person could never repay though you attempted to do so for all eternity.

          Romans 7:13 – Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

          Indeed, it took the sacrifice of God’s own Son to pay the sin debt that you owed to atone for the wicked deeds that you have done against God. And it is only through faith in Christ as the propitiation of your sins that you can be saved.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          When water boarding first hit the news a while back lots of people actually tried it just to see how much of a torture it actually was, but nobody needs to try burning themselves to get the idea that Hell is torture. Our society doesn't agree with torture while other societies do. The difference is that your God doesn't appear to be like our society, and plenty of Christians like to criticize things like "human rights" precisely because they're not like God's Law. The Muslim theocratic states, or the Communist states seem to have laws that better reflect God's "justice" than our secular laws.

          God is infinitely "holy", but only by his ow standard of what holy is, right?

          Why did God have to sacrifice his own son to appease himself? That just doesn't make any sense. God is more like some guy who shows up at your door with his kid, who happens to have a broken arm. Then he asks you to thank his son for saving you for getting that broken arm saving you from some runaway truck that you never saw. Keep on thanking him and send money, to some guys, so that this son, whom you'll never see again, can go on saving other people like some comic book superhero, or something.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    Ahhh religion. You can make it anything you want it to be. It's a license to imagine up your magical happy world and then tell others that it's what god wants.

    what a giggle!

    April 7, 2014 at 9:28 am |
  3. Theo Phileo

    "God's attributes are balanced in His divine perfection. And they are perfectly balanced. If God did not have wrath and God did not have anger then He would not be God. God is perfect in love, on the one hand, and He is equally perfect in hate, on the other hand. Just as totally as He loves, so totally does He hate. As His love is unmixed, so is His hate unmixed. Of Christ, it says in Hebrews 1:9, "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity." And there is that perfect balance in the nature of God."
    -John MacArthur

    It is not that God ever plays the villain. Rather, God plays a just and righteous judge who executes divine authority over the punishment of sin. That man can see God as being unjust or "playing the villain" is but an indictment on man's inability to grasp how righteous God is, and how truly wicked any sin is.

    April 7, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • igaftr

      Since each beleiver has a different concept of god, he is whatever you imagine him to be. One man's villain is another mans creator. It really is simply a matter of who's mind the imaginary concept is from.
      You believe your god is whatever you imagine him to be, fair and just in his murdering, others see the evil in his actions, I see he is a fictional story book character.

      April 7, 2014 at 9:07 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        "Since each beleiver has a different concept of god, he is whatever you imagine him to be."
        If any man's idea of God does not square precisely with the God described in the Bible, then he has created an idol by making a god of his own convenience. There is only one God, not the "god of our many understandings," as was prayed at Obama's inauguration. It may be ecu.menical to pray or think that way, but God is NOT ecu.menical with error.

        April 7, 2014 at 9:14 am |
        • igaftr

          "there is only one god"
          Incorrect.. If you believe the bible, then you believe in many gods, since your god does. Your first commandment shows you that. Why else would your god warn you to not worship other gods unless those other gods exist. ALL christians are polytheists.

          As far as anyone can show, ALL gods are imaginary.

          April 7, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "If you believe the bible, then you believe in many gods, since your god does. Your first commandment shows you that. Why else would your god warn you to not worship other gods unless those other gods exist."
          The law was given to a people who were familiar with the polytheism of Egypt. Not that the "gods" of Egypt were real gods, but that men placed people, places, or things in such a place of reverence that only God is to occupy.

          Deuteronomy 32:17 – They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.

          "As far as anyone can show, ALL gods are imaginary"
          If a creator God did not exist, then nothing would exist. Only a fool imagines eternality in a universe that is proved to be mutable.

          April 7, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • igaftr

          "If a creator God did not exist, then nothing would exist."
          Interesting hypothesis, but absolutlet nothing to validate it. Basically , you simply made that up. I know you'll bring up your false causal chain argument again, but since you do not know what caused the Big Bang, nor do you know the conditions prior to the Big Bnag, you cannot use that argument...it has no basis.

          As far as the other gods, this was allegedly written in stone, of only 10 things, and you are trying to say that he didn't mean what he said? Every version I see does not say not to worship false gods, it says not to worship OTHER gods, clearly indicating other gods exist.

          The history of humanity shows men make up gods to answer his own ignorance. Yours appears to be no different. As far as any can show, ALL gods exist solely in the imagination of people. No where else can any gods be shown to exist.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Interesting hypothesis, but absolutlet nothing to validate it"
          It is validated by plain reason and logic.
          In order to invalidate my statement, you would have to prove how a universe that is proven to be mutable can also be eternal.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • igaftr

          "It is validated by plain reason and logic.
          In order to invalidate my statement, you would have to prove how a universe that is proven to be mutable can also be eternal.

          Flat out incorrect. Your hypothesis remains as A POSSIBILITY, but not the only possibility by any stretch of the imagination.

          You clearly are not well versed in the application of logic or reason, since you leap to an unjustified conclusion and claim it to be the only logicall explaination. That is false.

          You have started with a conclusion, and try to make logic and reason fit your conclusion, which is false application of logic.
          Your causal chain garbage is proof you have no idea how to make an argument.
          Face it, you have no idea if there are any gods, or if satan inspired your book ( a god would not have gotten so much wrong)
          You act just like those ridiculous crewationist sites caliming science but clearly do not understand how science works...you do not know how logic works.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • joey3467

          Theo, Yahweh even had a wife until they wrote her out of the story.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          What, a new Dan Brown book?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • kudlak

          I think that joey's talking about Asherah, who was widely worshipped by the ancient Israelites up to the Exile, and was probably seen as YHWH's consort during that time.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Could be... Amongst pagan people with divided loyalties who prosti.tuted the worship of the Lord, Asherah trees were seen in many places alongside altars to the LORD. And in every instance, the LORD commanded that they be cut down and removed. (cf: Deuteronomy 16:21)

          April 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • joey3467

          That is what I'm talking about. Yahweh started out as the god of war in the Canaanite Pantheon of gods. At some point early Jews adopted Yahweh as their god and over time he became the only god.

          April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          In reality, YHWH was probably the patron god of the Jewish kings who, at the spurring of a few somewhat loony prophets, ruthlessly rooted out worship of all the other traditional gods. Old stories, like the Creation myth where YHWH speaks of a "heavenly council" and of "us" most likely is an artefact of those times when the Israelites were polytheistic like everyone else. So, instead of always knowing that there was just one God, monotheism probably developed through brute force.

          April 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      @ Theo – Iggie is correct in saying that "god" is whatever the person considers "god" to be. Are you prepared to admit that you do not "know" God's attributes, but that you only "believe" that God has the attributes you ascribe to him. After all, how could it be that something so vanishingly small and insignificant as a human could "know" the true nature of god, especially the god you believe in.

      Or do you claim to "know" the nature of god because of the contents of the bible?

      April 7, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        The thing created reveals attributes of that which creates it.
        When we look at the universe, we CAN discern some attributes of its Creator – this is known as Natural Revelation...

        He is:
        • Supernatural in nature (as He exists outside of His creation)
        • Incredibly powerful (to have created all that is known)
        • Eternal (self-existent, as He exists outside of time and space)
        • Omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it)
        • Timeless and changeless (He created time)
        • Immaterial (because He transcends space)
        • Personal (the impersonal can’t create personality)
        • Necessary (as everything else depends on Him)
        • Infinite and singular (as you cannot have two infinites)
        • Diverse yet has unity (as nature exhibits diversity)
        • Intelligent (supremely, to create everything)
        • Purposeful (as He deliberately created everything)
        • Moral (no moral law can exist without a lawgiver)
        • Caring (or no moral laws would have been given)

        April 7, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • whippstippler7

          Theo, I think you have it backward. You're looking at the universe, making assumptions that a god created that universe, then ascribed characteristics to that god that coincide with your view of the characteristics of the universe. That's simply circular logic.

          Here's a thought; is there anything you see int he universe that mandates that there is only one god? Why not a committee of gods? Why not a committee of gods that have the characteristics you ascribe to that single god? There is nothing in the nature of the universe that mandates a single creator.

          April 7, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So what are the attributes of the creators creator? Your logic has gotten you that far why not take it to the next logical step? If

          April 7, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "is there anything you see int he universe that mandates that there is only one god?"
          In order for it to be possible to have more than one God, it would have to be possible to have a mult.itude of infinites... This violates reason and logic.

          April 7, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "So what are the attributes of the creators creator? Your logic has gotten you that far why not take it to the next logical step?"
          This question violates logic. A causal chain requires a cause. It is impossible to have an infinite series of causes, since that cannot account for the very existence of the causal chain. A causal chain with no beginning doesn't exist. Therefore, there was ONE cause to the physical universe who exists eternally.

          April 7, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          If you used logic to reach the conclusion that all this amazing universe must have an intelligent designer but fails to then use the same logic when it comes to what could only be described as a more complex more amazing being existing that logically would require a more complex being to have created it. You end up in a logic loop which you exist by granting your first creator super magic powers that break all the rules of logic.

          So in effect you are saying it is only logical to believe in the illogical because science has yet to give us a complete answer for the origins of the universe. So far science has not discovered a single shred of evidence for any supernatural or magical or illogical origins, so why should we go leaping to erroneous conclusions? Just to play Pascals wager? Just so you feel like your covering some bases?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • whippstippler7

          @ Theo – you've fallen into the "Special Pleadings" trap. If everything has a cause, then what is God's cause? If god doesn't need a cause, then it is not true that everything has a cause, and therefore the universe does not need to have a cause.

          As for your ascribing attributes to a creator, you failed to say why there MUST be only one, as opposed to a multi-tude, of creator gods.

          Going back further, when you say that you can determine the characteristics of the creator by examine that which was created, you are as-suming the universe was created. Logically, you cannot simply a-ssume this – you need to PROVE it first. And, you cannot simply as-sume the existence of a god. You need to PROVE the existence of a god first.

          Given that the existence of a god is an extraordinary claim, you require extraordinary evidence to prove that claim: evidence that is cogent, and reliable, and sufficient. What is your evidence that goes to establishing a god – any god – exists? Then, what further evidence do you have that establishes that this god is in fact the god of the bible?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • ausphor

          And away you go on your first cause, casual chain rant, you are hilarious.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          You err in infinite regress when attempting to ask: "then who created God?"

          A causal chain requires a beginning in order to exist. That "beginning" then could NOT have a creator, or you have entered into a infinite causal chain, which doesn't exist. It is a logical necessity then, that the creator be eternal in essence.

          Furthermore, it is impossible to have multiple infinites, ergo, there was only one creator.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          " If everything has a cause, then what is God's cause?"
          That is NOT the definition of Causality.
          The Law of Causality states that everything that BEGINS TO EXIST has a cause.

          Applying that – the physical universe began to exist, therefore the physical universe has a cause.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • ausphor

          No amount of showing Theo where he is wrong will ever change his twisted reasoning. Hi is amusing, his only redeeming characteristic.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          "He is:
          • Supernatural in nature (as He exists outside of His creation)"
          But he could exist within somebody else's creation, right?

          "• Incredibly powerful (to have created all that is known)"
          How did he violate the First Law of Thermodynamics again?

          • Eternal (self-existent, as He exists outside of time and space)
          • Omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it)

          "• Timeless and changeless (He created time)"
          How can he think or "do" anything without time to do it in?

          "• Immaterial (because He transcends space)"
          How can something that is immaterial have a mind, or "do" anything?

          "• Personal (the impersonal can’t create personality)"
          How can something that is immaterial have a personality?

          "• Necessary (as everything else depends on Him)"
          Only in people's imagination, it seems.

          "• Infinite and singular (as you cannot have two infinities)"
          Why does God have to be one of them?

          "• Diverse yet has unity (as nature exhibits diversity)"
          A bear, a shark, and a birch tree are never seen as one creature though.

          "• Intelligent (supremely, to create everything)"
          Too many examples of poor, convoluted design to say that nature is intelligently designed.

          "• Purposeful (as He deliberately created everything)"
          Even Satan, so evil was always part of his plan, right?

          "• Moral (no moral law can exist without a lawgiver)"
          Again, how can one species judge another?

          "• Caring (or no moral laws would have been given)"
          Yet, the "law" that will get you sent to hell is hurting God's feelings by not realizing that he's real. You can do anything else, from ra-ping little kids to genocide, and still get into heaven if you don't hurt his feeling this way, but a much, much better person gets eternal torture for not being convinced that something invisible id real.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • igaftr

          "The Law of Causality states that everything that BEGINS TO EXIST has a cause."

          That is a defintion that is used by religious people, but is NOT the actual definition.

          Casual Law states that it is necessary that every event has a cause.

          YOU have changed the definition to have an exclusion for YOUR god...and that is dishonest.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "YOU have changed the definition to have an exclusion for YOUR god...and that is dishonest."
          Actually, I didn't change the definition. BUT, if I did, are you going to excuse Lawrence Krausse when he redefines the word "nothing" but not excuse the theologian?

          April 7, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo

          "• Eternal (self-existent, as He exists outside of time and space)"
          How would he really know? He may just be assuming that nothing existed before his first memory. If some little kid grew up on an island completely alone, wouldn't he possibly come to assume that he's the only one of his kind, that nothing exists beyond his view, and that there was never a "before" his first memory?

          "• Omnipresent (He created space and is not limited by it)"
          He must be in Hell too, than.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "He must be in Hell too, than."
          Why else do you think that hell is so hellish?
          To the elect, there is nothing more beautiful than the presence of Almighty God.
          To the damned, there is nothing more terrifying and tortuous than the presence of Almighty God.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          So, you don't hold with the idea that Hell is just the separation from God, eh?

          Fair enough. God's in Hell too. He's doing the torturing, and Satan is just the best known of us "sinners". He's a victim of God giving people a choice like everyone else, but at least he knew, without doubt that God was real before he rebelled. God putting people who just weren't convinced that he exists in his gulag would be like Stalin rounding up native Siberians who never heard of him, or communism, for his work camps.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          In case you were curious...

          Punishment of the wicked dead is described throughout scripture as:

          1)Eternal fire (Psalm 11:6, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50, Matthew 18:7-9, Matthew 25:41, Jude 7)
          Isaiah 30:30,33 – Isaiah speaks of Topheth in the valley of Hinnom, where before it became Gehenna – the burning trash dump outside Jerusalem – it was the place of pagan worship where people burned alive their own children to their false god, Molech (2 Chronicles 28:3, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Jeremiah 7:31, Jeremiah 19:2-6) and God uses this as an illustration of a place where God will burn alive the unrighteous

          2)Eternal punishment (Isaiah 66:24, Matthew 25:30, 46, Daniel 12:2, John 5:29)

          3)Unquenchable fire (Deuteronomy 32:22, Matthew 3:12, Mark 9:43-49)

          4)Darkness, Blackness (Matthew 8:12, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 25:30, 2 Peter 2:17, Jude 7, Jude 13)

          5)Disgrace and everlasting shame and contempt (Daniel 12:2)

          6)Banishment, Separation (Matthew 8:12, Matthew 22:13, Luke 13:28)

          7)Sorrow and Anger “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28, Matthew 8:12, Matthew 13:42,50, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 24:51, Matthew 25:30, Revelation 18:15)

          8)A place where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:44-49)

          9)A place of endless “torments” and “flame” (Luke 16:23-28)

          10)Eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10) NOTE: “destruction” means “ruin” and does not involve annihilation, but rather a new state of conscious being which is significantly worse than the first (Revelation 20:14-15) This is described as the absence of God’s presence and glory (Matthew 8:12, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 25:30, Luke 16:24-26)

          11)A place of everlasting torment with “fire and brimstone” where “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever” (Revelation 14:9-11)

          12)Lake of fire and brimstone where the wicked are tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10)

          April 7, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • igaftr

          "Actually, I didn't change the definition. BUT, if I did, are you going to excuse Lawrence Krausse when he redefines the word "nothing" but not excuse the theologian?"

          You may not have changed the difeintion, but you are certainly NOT using the accepted definition I found on over 12 sites, including religious ones, so start with the correct definition, and you will see you causal chain argument is false.
          Also, you are misrepresenting what Krausse was saying. He said that nothing really doesn't exist, that there is something where we say nothing, pointing out that not the definition of nothing is incorrect, but the use of the term nothing is incorrect in this instance.
          So no, you have no excuse, you are doing what many do, change definitions to fit your agenda, try to use logic in reverse, which does not work. You look at everything with a bias, and you CANNOT logically start with a conclusion, as you have, and expect to find the path to that conclusion.
          You are VERY dishonest, but the truly sad thinig is, you will smply not see just how wrong you are, so you think you are being honest. That is what Satan wanted from you when he inspired your bible be written.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          And the Greeks loved to dream up ironic torments in Hades for those who crossed their gods, like forever being thirsty while up to the chin in water just out of reach. All this proves is that the Bible writers didn't have as much imagination as the Greeks to come up with a little more variety.

          April 7, 2014 at 11:37 am |
    • kudlak

      Theo Phileo
      And who gets to define God's perfection? Why, God himself, or course! And who gets to define what "sin" is? Why God does, and he basically defines it as whatever displeases him. Sounds more like a dictator than anything else.

      And who is God to judge us? We're not even the same species. We're human, and he's not. That's like thinking it's OK for people to judge ant behaviour, or elephants to judge trout behaviour. God does't even have a context for personal morality. There aren't any other gods for him to get along with, are there? He never looked at Athena's legs with lust in his eyes or wanted to steal Thor's hammer. Basically, whatever he wanted to do, he just did. How is that moral?

      April 7, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        "And who is God to judge us?"
        If you built a machine to do a given job, and then it breaks, what do you do? You can either repair it to work in the manner that you designed, OR, you throw it away and rebuild it to a different design.

        How is this OK with humans and their creations, but not God and His creations?

        April 7, 2014 at 11:02 am |
      • kudlak

        Theo Phileo
        You're really far off with this argument. Because, isn't the common argument for free will that God didn't want "robots" who would just automatically worship him and do his bidding? Toasters don't have feelings and, even if it is silly, I wouldn't begrudge somebody taking their frustration out on a malfunctioning machine, but this isn't analogous to a God who supposedly created biological intelligent beings in his own image. That's more like a farmer beating his horse for being smart enough not to go over thin ice.

        April 7, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          But man doesn't have a free will.

          We are creatures with a will of our own. We make things happen. Yet the causal power that we exert is only secondary. God’s sovereign providence stands over and above our actions. He works out His will through the actions of human wills, without violating the freedom of those human wills.

          “The ‘will’ is the faculty of choice – the immediate cause of all action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing, and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present in the mind before there can be any choice, and in every act of the will there is preference – the desiring of one thing rather than another. Where there is no preference, but complete indifference there is no volition. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice, something which determines the decision, hence the will cannot be sovereign since it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations and is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself. Hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if their effect, it must be their servant, and if the will is their servant, then it is not sovereign, and if the will is not sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute freedom of it.”
          “The Sovereignty of God” by A.W. Pink

          April 7, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          Does that Pink quote actually make sense to you?

          April 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • kudlak

          And, if you do, can you put it in your own words without all the word salad? I know that it's the key tool of apologists and supposed to hypnotize me into thinking that what they're saying must make sense, but it just lowers my opinion of Christians in general.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  4. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    Early on:

    April 7, 2014 at 7:00 am |
    • whippstippler7

      ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Dead ♰ ♰ ♰

      April 7, 2014 at 7:41 am |
    • samsstones

      Fvck off and die already, jesus wants you, bott0m boy.

      April 7, 2014 at 7:44 am |
    • whippstippler7

      Jesus Christ Is Dead

      'e's not dead! He's pining – pining for the fiords.

      Pining for the fiords? What kind of talk is that? And why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got him home?

      The Jesus Christ prefers kipping on his back. Beautiful plumage!

      April 7, 2014 at 8:26 am |
  5. frankbeattys

    "An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the
    existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places
    and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that
    no such God exists." - Carl Sagan

    April 6, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
    • hotairace

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. – Carl Sagan

      April 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • frankbeattys

        "Science does not know how life started on earth" –Neil deGrasse Tyson

        I don't know of any claim more Extraordinary than life starting by chance.

        April 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • hotairace

          Who's claiming it did?

          April 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • lewcypher

          Believing that a god created everything from nothing is by far a more fantastic claim.

          April 6, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Truth does not ask to be believed. It asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday and Sunday and sing, “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.

          -Dan Barker

          April 6, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • frankbeattys

          lewcypher wrote: "Believing that a god created everything from nothing is by far a more fantastic claim."

          A serious British study calculated that the odds of producing just the basic enzymes of life by chance are 10 to 40,000th power to 1.

          Then the encoding and decoding of DNA/RNA does is virtually impossible without design.

          April 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • hotairace

          The probability of those things happening is not important because they did happen. "Natural processes" and "We don't know" are far better answers than "Some alleged but never proven god did it" unless of course, you can provide the first bit of actual evidence for any god.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          A serious study....really? You just said a "serious study"? Well that IS pretty compelling....I am not sure I would believe just a regular study...but a serious one...I am convinced.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • observer


          Christian alternative:

          God came from NOTHING and then created EVERYTHING from NOTHING.

          Much more logical?

          April 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • frankbeattys

          observer wrote:" frankbeattys, Christian alternative:

          God came from NOTHING and then created EVERYTHING from NOTHING."

          God always existed.
          Universe age = 13,798 billion years

          April 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • observer


          "God always existed." So the material that was in the Big Bang always existed.

          No PROOF for either. Try again.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • redzoa

          "A serious British study calculated that the odds of producing just the basic enzymes of life by chance are 10 to 40,000th power to 1.

          Then the encoding and decoding of DNA/RNA does is virtually impossible without design."

          Of course, we know that selection filters for functionality and that evolution is, itself, a "designer." Pray tell, what study are you referencing? I see a variety of "improbability" calculations thrown up by ID/creationists, but they invariably seem to misrepresent what the science indicates, e.g. requiring the final product be produced at once, ignoring exaptation, etc. For example, the Behe and Snoke paper addressing evolution of multi-residue protein interactions attempted to argue against the feasibility of such evolution; yet, when their model was dissected, it was clear that despite their contriving a very narrow scenario which over and under represented known evolutionary mechanisms, what the paper actually showed (contrary to their conclusion) was that such evolution was to be routinely expected.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:48 am |
    • lewcypher

      Then you have no reason not to believe in Zeus, Ra, Quezacoatl, or a myriad of other gods.

      April 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • frankbeattys

        Isaiah 45:5 "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me."

        April 6, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • hotairace

          You do know that quote is from a not very good book of fiction, don't you?

          April 6, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Let us praise God. O Lord...
          ...ooh, You are so big...
          ...So absolutely huge.
          Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
          Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...
          And barefaced flattery.
          But You are so strong and, well, just so super.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Did you expect the only book that tells of your god to say there might be other gods that are right??? Why exactly is it you think they put silly little verse in like that?? They wouldn't want the sheep to stray, so they use fear tactics like this to keep you in line and believing under false pretenses. If it had said no other unicorns or no other leprechaun, would you worship the great unicorn or the great leprechaun? The bible is written to fool you and put fear in to you...soon enough though, it will be set aside as more and more people walk away from the divisive group of sheep.

          April 7, 2014 at 5:28 am |
        • sam stone

          very convincing, frank, to those who already believe it

          April 7, 2014 at 6:01 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If I were to try to be an Agnostic, and say, “I just don’t know if there is a god,” I would feel just as silly as saying “I just don’t know if there is a Tooth Fairy.” It’s not so much that we Atheists have ‘faith’ in the lack of gods, but we do have faith that theists accept fallacies as proof, most likely out of fear. This may be the same reason Agnostics will not profess true Atheism (the fear of being wrong). In the literal sense of trusting in evidence, I’m okay with being a faithful Atheist, but my faith is nowhere near the amount of unjustifiable faith required to believe in magical spirits helping us with daily activities.

      -Penn Jillette

      April 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        " You don't have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is " I don't know" ".

        – Penn Jillette

        So which is it?

        April 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Don't know, you will have to ask Penn.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Fair enough.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you ask the question "do you believe god exists?"

          any other answer other than "yes" would make one an atheist.

          April 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " If you ask the question "do you believe God exists" ".

          But if my answer is " I don't really know", that is neither a yes or no answer. However, it is an answer that is true to both the definition and etymology of the word "agnostos" and not that of "atheos".

          April 7, 2014 at 12:10 am |
        • Doris

          Regardless of word etymology, today many implicit atheists are highly agnostic.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          I've always found the identifiers " implicit/explicit" atheism to be nebulous at best. I can accept a strong/weak subgroup of atheism, but this implicit/explicit terminology is a stretch.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:43 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It has to do with the difference between what you believe and what you think you know. For any particular god that you can imagine, a "theist" is one who has a belief in that god. In contrast, an "atheist" is one who does not have a belief in the god. A "gnostic" is one who knows about the existence of god and an "agnostic" is one who thinks that god is unknowable.

          Notice that the terms "atheist" and "agnostic", by these definitions, are not mutually exclusive. You could be an agnostic atheist, meaning you don't think that the existence of gods is knowable, but you don't choose to believe in one without further proof. Many people assume that atheists believe that gods can be proved not to exist, but this isn't strictly true and there is no proper word to describe this. You could call such a person an "untheist", perhaps. Or, you could just call such a person a "gnostic atheist", one who doesn't believe in a god and thinks that his non-belief can be proved.

          So there are four possible ways one could be.

          1. Agnostic-Theist: believes god exists, but the existence of a god is unknowable
          2. Gnostic-Theist: believes in a god for which he claims knowledge
          3. Agnostic-Atheist: does not believe god exists, but it can't be proved
          4. Gnostic-Atheist: believes it can be proved that god does not exist

          April 7, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • observer

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers,

          Believing that the God of the Bible does not exist does not make someone an atheist. An agnostic acknowledges that there are other possibilities. Atheists AND Christians could BOTH be wrong. Maybe there is totally DIFFERENT "God" who is nicer, kinder, smarter and far less vain and brutal than the one portrayed in the Bible.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:46 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          As to the question "do you believe believe god exists" I wasn't refering to the Christian god specifically...just any god, even a diestic one.

          I can enterain the possibility that a "god" could exist...but the question is "do you believe it to be true?" If you don't believe it you are not convinced... and a lack of belief = atheism. I am strictly going by definitions and understand if an individual does not want to indentify as an atheist.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          April 7, 2014 at 1:02 am |
        • Doris

          To clarify, dev, my statement would have been better using the term you mentioned:

          "Regardless of word etymology, today many weak atheists are highly agnostic."

          (if we are talking about people who have studied, considered or have been exposed to an Abrahamic faith for instance. ) And really, I fit in there as much as in any other category.

          Implicit atheism would be more for a very young child, for example, who lacks theism and doesn't consciously reject it – most likely in this case, because of the lack of exposure to it yet.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:02 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Yes, I'm familiar with the delineations of the words. I spent entirely too much of my time and parents money parsing the nuances of the terminology while in college. I am using the terms agnostic and atheism in the classical/common sense, which is how PJ was using them in your quote. That he was using them in this sense is born out by his contrasting of the two terms.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • observer

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Again. BOTH atheists AND Christians could be wrong. That is the position of agnostics. Like Christians, you have NO PROOF.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • kevinite

          Actually Blessed Cheesemaker,

          Lack of belief does not equate to atheism. When one makes a conclusion in which there is no actual evidence to support it like making a conclusion that there is no God without having the undisputed evidence to back it up, what you got there in atheism is a belief in of itself; a belief that there is no God.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:11 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I didn't post those definitions as support for PJ's use...just as how I personally view the terms.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:13 am |
        • Doris

          Yes, dev. I was thinking that if I were to meet PJ, I might argue with him over that first quote from Blessed above. I certainly would disagree with this statement: "This may be the same reason Agnostics will not profess true Atheism (the fear of being wrong)."

          It might be helpful to now when he wrote those quotes.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          If you believe in god you are a theist....if you lack belief you are an atheist...lack of belief does not have to equate to certainty.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • kevinite

          Definition of ATHEISM

          archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
          a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
          b : the doctrine that there is no deity

          April 7, 2014 at 1:22 am |
        • kevinite

          It's the Merriam Webster definition:

          Definition of ATHEISM

          archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
          a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
          b : the doctrine that there is no deity

          April 7, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • Doris

          kevinite: "...what you got there in atheism is a belief in of itself.."

          OK fine. One of my beliefs is that I don't believe in the Cookie Monster.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • observer

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers,

          One person's possible answers:
          Do you believe in God? No.
          Do you believe in other gods? No.
          Do you believe that NO gods could exist? No.

          You can try to make an "atheist" out of this, but it's NOT true. Until some PROOF comes from atheists or believers, agnosticism is the most LOGICAL position.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • ddeevviinn


          I want to respond to this phrase and mindset of " regardless of etymology". It is in fact etymology that precisely defines a word in its" truest sense" ( hence – etymologia). If one relies on their own sense of definitive word interpretation, the sky;s the limit as to a word or phrase's meaning. If you've ever read or had occasion to take a class on analytical .philosophy, you will no where I'm going.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • Doris

          (And for similar reasons, my belief is that I don't believe in the God of Abraham.)

          April 7, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • kevinite

          Well Doris,

          If you don't believe in Cookie Monster then you don't believe in Cookie Monster. My point is that this is all dealing with belief in both the theist and atheist positions.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:27 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          I am an atheist because I am not convinced of the claim...but I don't claim to know, because you are right, I don't have proof.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • observer


          "It is in fact etymology that precisely defines a word in its" truest sense""

          Nope. Not at all. The definition of words change with time. We need to use words as they are defined TODAY, not hundreds of years ago.

          If the original meaning of words is what is important, why are Christians so upset with happy people? What's wrong with gay people?

          While you are at it, check your calendar for the 10th month ("dec" derives from 10). What do you call the 12th month?

          April 7, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • Doris

          Yes, I understand, dev. I find when discussing theisism/atheism if helps to add more modifiers for theistic/atheistic terms than to go skinny and assume your audience understands your intention. I can't count the number of times I repeated "objective" and "subjective" as adjectives to "correctness" or "wrong" when arguing with truthfollower recently.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:39 am |
        • ddeevviinn


          I think this one might have flown over your head. We were trying to extract precise definitions out of words to which there was varying and ambiguous understanding.

          " We need to use terms as the are defined today'

          If you actually subscribe to this, I can assure you that you will be sc re wed if you ever attempt tp have a technical philosophical conversation with someone.

          April 7, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • Doris

          dev: "I am using the terms agnostic and atheism in the classical/common sense, which is how PJ was using them in your quote. That he was using them in this sense is born out by his contrasting of the two terms."

          This makes sense in the context of the first PJ quote, dev. But, as I wrote earlier, if I don't specify additional description around the word, people tend to get lost quickly and then there is just a misunderstanding that is sometimes hidden to one or both parties. Notice that after I've shown the variations, kevinite states "Lack of belief does not equate to atheism. " Well, on the single word, but based on what was discussed earlier it is clear that such statement is at least not always true – especially in the case of implicit atheism. IMHO, using only a classical/common definition is just as bad as using only the current definition. I say dress it up as much as possible to make sure your listener is not on a different page.

          April 7, 2014 at 10:32 am |
    • observer

      “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish supersti-tions.”
      - Albert Einstein, letter 1/3/1954

      April 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • frankbeattys

        "I am not an Atheist." - Albert Einstein

        April 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • observer

          “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”
          - Albert Einstein, letter to M. Berkowitz, 10/25/1950

          April 6, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
    • readerpan

      i don' know any atheists who claim to be sure that no god exists, but I know many who are sure that there is no evidence that a god exists.

      April 6, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      And this why I have always maintained a certain degree of respect for agnosticism,

      April 6, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
  6. sandersm2670

    God is the same past,present,and future. He is merciful and covers us in His grace. There are many examples of His mercy in the Old Testament, including His choice for king of Israel. David was blessed fantastically yet he failed and impregnated his neighbors wife then sent the husband to his death when he refused to sleep with his wife after David extended him extraordinary leave in hope he would sleep with her and the pregnancy attributed to the husband.

    April 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Telling someone to kill their child is sociopathic.

      April 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
  7. monkeyabeyman

    your left has gentle puppies wanting to learn your ways ..are kind meek beings..your left has rabid viscous dogs–then the apathetic to both..worried about food ect....the witnesses have the truth on earth..if they didn't..they would still have the best chance of Jesus graciousness..since they are the only group on earth preaching the Kingdom of Jehovah God as the only hope for the human race to survive peacefully and successfully ..DO YOU NOT THINK ALMIGHTY GOD WOULD NOT HAVE HIS OWN HIGHLY ORGANIZED FACTION ..WITH A BOOK(A MATTER OF COMMUNICATION WARNING YOU? Telling how he wants to be worshiped? How your to conduct yourselves? he will destroy the rabid and apathetic..so the meek will have peace math 24:14

    April 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • observer

      Do you have an English translation?

      April 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
      • deecee10000

        I think he said "god gave my dog rabies".

        April 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
    • ugetthefacts

      you do realize that beating a puppy will generally make the later dog viscous, right?

      Sounds like more bad bible stuff. A good person would preach to take the time and care for your children, rather than beat them.

      April 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • lewcypher

      quoting your bible is like an 8 year old stabbing at you with their pretend star wars light saber ............ cute and ineffective

      April 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
  8. idiotusmaximus

    In our age, the merciful God reigns – or so we like to think.....you say....

    But if you get rid of gods your problems disappear with them because you believe because you arbitrary want to..

    .THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON RELIGION….If you propose the existance of something, you must follow through with the scientific method in your defense of its existance otherwise I have no reason to listen to you.

    April 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • voomie

      Read Matthew 25 starting with Verse 31 and tell me that's not the same God as in the Old Testament. We all are going to be judged based on our love for the poor and the least among us. If you spend your life in pursuit of other objectives, then you will face a very wrathful God.

      April 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • hotairace

        "same alleged (but never proven) god ..."

        April 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
      • sam stone

        your god is a punk.

        April 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh not with the fear tactics again!! It's akin to a 5 year old telling his/her imaginary friend on you....very child like mind set to be afraid of the invisible.

        April 7, 2014 at 5:46 am |
    • Vic

      Here is the thing:

      To the believer, the existence of God is evident in His creation, this existence, the universe and life in it, hence "Natural Revelation." Then, we find attestation to that in Scriptures, hence "Special Revelation."

      Given all of that, to us believers, God is Metaphysical, Eternal in Generation, and outside the realm of this existence, its beginning and its time. Therefore, Empirical Science CANNOT prove God; however, we believe it reveals God.

      April 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by 'Vic' presents a form of the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy.


        April 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • tallulah131

        When a christian looks at "o the believer, the existence of God is evident in His creation, this existence, the universe and life in it" they say "god did it" and leave it at that. When a scientists looks at "this existence, the universe and life in it" they ask how and why.

        I prefer honest, real answers, so I'll stick to the scientists.

        April 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • mamaschool5

          Human scientists want a human science explanation for an un-human being. Makes sense. How about a book instead? Not good enough. The 'burden of proof' is on the unimpressed human who looks at stars and says "yeah, but"

          April 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Vic

          As a matter of fact, the Christian believer believes in the existence of God and His creation and pursues Science to discover and learn more about what is and how God's creation works.

          That's how Science in its "modern form" started, by Christians believers. Christians founded the branches of Modern Science and the Modern Scientific Method, and they continue to pioneer and contribute to it.

          April 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • hotairace

          Only 15% of the US's top scientists, members of the National Academy of Sciences, are believers and eminent scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson openly question why that number is as high as it is.

          April 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • lewcypher

          vic, you contradict your program. If what you say is true then there wouldn't be a push to teach creationism (not founded on science) in schools.

          April 6, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • Doris

        Vic: "Here is the thing"

        Is that really one thing??

        April 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • proud2bnamerican

          There is a book called, The One Thing and Secret of Life, that explains a lot about God. It is awesome for those that want to seek God and how he created us to seek him and have relationship with him. I recommend it to anyone that wants to go beyond what man has to say.

          April 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          and who wrote that book, proud?

          April 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • lewcypher

          sam, this is a "no logic zone". play nice

          April 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
      • sam stone

        Here is the thing, Vic.....you are delusional

        April 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • laceydon

      I find it interesting that the demand is always for scientific evidence. What does that mean exactly? What would you accept as scientific evidence?

      In a science lab evidence is gathered of a particular phenomenon, let's say God. But as every scientist knows evidence tells us nothing by itself. It requires interpretation. So if God left a fingerprint (acceptable as evidence in a criminal investigation) would that solve the question altogether? I doubt it. I doubt it because I find very few skeptics who really would like to have proof for God. So, what proof they find is usually discredited or ignored.

      Now, I said very few. But there have been some who started as atheists and through honest inquiry felt there was enough evidence to accept the fact of God. If you are really serious in your inquiry, you might follow their steps. A list: Anthony Flew, C.S. Lewis, Mortimer Adler, Allister McGrath, J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel.

      Several of these men have written books about what led them to believe. If you are serious, that might be a place to start.

      April 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
      • hotairace

        Evidence that would stand up to the scientific method or to the justice system's rules of evidence. A fingerprint would be ok if it could be definitively traced to a supernatural being. I would also accept a demonstration, announced in advance and proven to be real and permanent, such as the elimination of worldwide child hunger.

        April 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
      • observer


        Scientific proof is not necessary. A simple 5-second simultaneous announcement for the entire world would do.

        April 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • tallulah131

        History shows that humans invent gods to explain the unknown. Your god is no different than the literally thousands of other gods worshiped throughout history. There is no evidence for any of them and they tend to fade away as humans discover the reasons for the phenomena previously attributed to the supernatural. There is no scientific evidence for god because human knowledge continues to grow, leaving no need for gods of the supernatural. Gods are born of emotion, not evidence.

        I don't care about your list of writers. I don't need others to tell me how or what to think. My atheism is rooted in my own thoughts and experiences.

        April 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • hotairace

        Do any of the authors you named, or any others you care to name, provide actual evidence for their alleged god? If not, whatever they wrote is merely their personal subjective opinion, evidence of nothing except mental illness.

        April 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • Woody

        "I find it interesting that the demand is always for scientific evidence. What does that mean exactly?"

        It demands the same indisputable evidence required to validate any other outrageous claim. Evidence that can survive all scientific scrutiny. You, and the rest of the "believers", make claims of an invisible being in the sky, responsible for the creation the entire universe and the ultimate fate of every human ever born. We've all heard the ancient, nonsensical hypothesis about the all knowing, all merciful, all loving god, who seems to find joy in destroying cities, killing vast numbers of people by floods, fire from the sky, plagues and pestilence. So far, no one in the history of the world has produced a single shred of evidence that such a being exists. All this god would have to do, is to make a verifiable appearance to remove all doubt of it's existence. So far, in the thousand of years that people have believed in this god, this hasn't happen except in legend and hearsay stories. These god stories were created by primitive people in an attempt to understand the origin of the world around them and the various natural phenomenon that they encountered in their lives. It's all nonsense, deal with it.

        April 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
  9. blakenaustin

    When God plays the villain you can be confident that a godless, far left filmmaker is involved.

    April 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • observer


      Or a God who torturously drowned EVERY child, baby, fetus and human embryo on the FACE OF THE EARTH.

      April 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • lewcypher

      so would a christian film maker have had Noah throw everybody life rings?

      April 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Aw blake. Your god happily killed almost every living thing on this planet, because his own creation was a failure. This is according to your bible. Stop trying to sugarcoat the nature of the thing you worship.

      April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      He plays the villian in the book too...

      April 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
  10. auntiekale

    Why would a "loving" god create such a horrendously evil place as Hell?
    Well I think that's pretty obvious, don't you?
    It's for other people to go to.

    (sighs) ... I miss Hitch.

    April 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Lololol...me too.

      April 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • readerpan

      Why would a loving omniscient god create a species so evil that it had to be totally exterminated except for one family?

      April 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
      • observer


        He didn't have to worry that his boss was Donald Trump.

        April 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
  11. auntiekale

    If you study current religions and older mythologies, it seems that a good case could be made for all of the Gods of Mankind being villains.

    April 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
  12. colin31714

    God is eternally and forever a tyrannical son-of-a-beetch. Think it through. Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected God through nothing more than a healthy, intelligent skepticism, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by their all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

    About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell this “all-merciful” god set up and maintains.

    But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

    No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of this “infinitely benevolent” god.

    Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to the Judeo-Christian god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. The “all-caring” God from Christianity not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for all eternity.

    It is also odd that their all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager who breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

    That is the problem with using the same deity to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

    How Christians continue to believe this utter garbage in the 21st century completely eludes me.

    April 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      very well said.
      the christian god is cruel beyond measure.
      want to know why torture in hell is infinitely worse than torture on earth?
      because you can die from torture on earth - you can't 'die' in hell.
      in hell, demons can open your skull and removed pieces of your brain while you lay screaming - because a wound you would normally die from on earth doesn't kill you in hell.
      so you can do things like chop someone's head off and remove their still-beating heart and show it to them - and they don't die.
      people can be tortured in ways that would kill someone on earth, causing immeasurable amounts of pain.
      and for all eternity.

      but the christian god is all about love, eh? lol.

      April 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • colin31714

        What I love the most is that it is God himself who hides and withholds all evidence of his existence and then punishes those for not believing in him. If he actually showed up for once and said "worship me or I will burn you forever" I might be inclined to do so. Although, even then, it is hard to honestly love something under duress.

        April 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          that's why greek, eyptian, norse gods make more sense – they didn't pretend to be all good. in fact, they were basically humans with powers. they got jealous, committed adultery with other gods/goddesses, got angry, drunk, etc. that makes them a bit more believable. zeus, ra and odin didn't pretend to care about every human being - they mostly cared about themselves. at the end of the day, it's all made-up hocus pocus, but at least pantheons made more sense than a single, all-loving god that tortures his creations.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • sevensyster

          bootyfunk those same greek gods were in fact fallen angels who came down from their place to take over ours. Yes they were evil. No they were not human. Their children; the Nephilim were half human and half fallen angel. Their bones have been found all over the world.

          April 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • ifhorseshadgods

          God is a jealous god and his people need to fear and love him.
          To fear and love someone at the same time makes a person schizophrenic.
          I teach my children to never get in a relationship like that.

          April 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • laceydon

          It is impossible to love someone under duress. God doesn't use duress or threats to make us love him.

          But there are consequences when we don't. One is that we get what we want. We don't want God, so he gives us eternity without him.

          April 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • colin31714

          No, he goes much further than that, he supposedly gives us an eternity writhing in torturous, scalding hell.

          April 6, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • observer


          "God doesn't use duress or threats to make us love him."

          He does use bribes (heaven) and threats (hell) to dictate what to do.

          April 6, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • fairytalesareforkids


          Nephilim do not exist, nor has there been any bones found.


          April 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
      • lewcypher

        "bootyfunk those same greek gods were in fact fallen angels"

        you really don't have to try to discredit religion when people make statements like this

        April 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      @ colin: lovely turn of a phrase: "A goose-stepping girlie-man."

      Well, struck, sir!

      And the rest of your post is bang-on in demonstrating what a horrible doctrine Christianity is based on.

      April 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      As always Colin, well said.

      April 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
      • colin31714

        Thanks TP1

        April 6, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      God is eternally and forever a tyrannical son-of-a-beetch.....

      Something that doesn't exist can't be anything...including a son of a beetch.

      April 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      • hotairace

        Can't fictional characters in fictional stories have attributes?

        April 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • colin31714

        True, as a figure of literature he is.

        April 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
    • mamaschool5

      with numbers like those, I guess it's safe to be among the slaughtered. Good luck. Maybe you should conjure up numbers that a 'fair' God should have for your liking? Or you could just get some morality in your life. You know, a conscience... Good luck with all that.

      April 6, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • observer


        "Or you could just get some morality in your life"

        Do you mean like supporting slavery as the Bible does?

        April 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • hotairace

          Or stoning people. . .

          April 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • lewcypher

          "Well, they'll stone you when you're trying to be so good
          They'll stone you just like they said they would
          They'll stone you when you're tryna go home
          Then they'll stone you when you're there all alone

          But I would not feel so all alone
          Everybody must get stoned"

          sorry, couldn't resist

          April 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • colin31714

        Or, you could realize that a person is not immoral for being skeptical of Christianity and that there are fundamental inconsistencies with Christianity than render it highly suspect as a doctrine.

        April 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Your premise is flawed from the get go. If you had even a cursory familiarity with the biblical literature, you would recognize that this concept of hell is a futuristic event.

      April 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
      • colin31714

        What devin? Your comment doesn't make any sense. What did I get wrong?

        April 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    this author is brainwashed.

    "With our notion of a God who loves us all individually, especially the little children, we struggle with a deity who would wipe out all of humanity. Surely there were many innocent people, children, who died in the Flood? But let’s be clear: This is our problem, not the Bible’s."

    anyone that can defend the murder of children is brainwashed. if you don't accept that babies can be evil, you can't accept this story of genocide. this author really thinks a babe alive for mere hours deserves death for being evil? only a monster can fill a child's lungs with water and call it divine justice. this is a story of horror. god kills babies, children, the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged, the infirm, etc. so god killed people born with cerebral palsy - were they evil too? had they committed atrocities? this is a disgusting story that perfectly illustrates the cruelty of the christian god.

    the christian god, as this author points out, kills children more than once in the bible.
    "The same God who accepts without comment Jephthah’s sacrifice of his own daughter, who allows children to be mauled by a bear for taunting one of his prophets, who threatens Israel with such devastating famine that they will be forced to eat their own infants."

    at what point do you consider that christianity is a cult like any other and that you're religiously brainwashed? you read stories about your god murdering babies and that doesn't do it? at what point do you say, "this story is crazy. they want me to believe killing children is a good thing?" think for yourself. you know murdering children is evil.

    April 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  14. sevensyster

    So you think God is a mean and hateful God?? You are wrong.

    If you made a 'garden' and some people from another town came over and took it over... would you be upset?

    April 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Isn't god supposed to be omnipotent? Didn't god know what was going to happen beforehand? Didn't god create people knowing their strengths and weaknesses? Are you saying the god was surprised by what Adam and Eve supposedly did?
      Are you saying that your god ISN'T omnipotent and omniscient?

      April 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
      • arthurpaliden

        He is not omnipotent He cannot defeat chariots of iron.

        April 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Sure – those and stupid se-xy Flanders in a skin-tight ski outfit! God couldn't defeat that!

          April 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • sevensyster

      People go to jail for less yet these fallen angels who already had a place ... left their place to take our place.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Seriously: what are you saying?

        By the way, that question about god being omniscient and knowing in advance what would happen? do you have an answer for that?

        April 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
    • lewcypher

      The difference is I would take them to court and prove ownership and there would be a court order to make them leave......................... I wouldn't kill them over it.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • sevensyster

        right you wouldn't kill them over it?? Even if they took your wife and daughters ?

        April 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ seven: let's try this. Is a bat a mammal or a bird? Does a rabbit chew its cud?

          April 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • lewcypher

          I would just "poof" them back into the house "poof" the kidnappers to a different continent.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      seven: god is omniscient. he KNEW it was going to happen. it could not have not happened

      April 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, i do think your god is evil. he killed babies. kind of open and shut.

      April 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The difference between me and your god is that if I saw someone being raped I'd do everything in my power to stop it. A true open minded read of the bible proves exactly how vindictive ass your god is!

      April 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • sevensyster

        So lets say you have families from 2 sides of a universe. One family is from your area, a old area,, that has been there for ages. The other is a new family that you just became a part of. The old family got upset and jealous over the new families nice place... so they plotted to get it for themselves. You knew this as you seen them leaving their home, you knew they had bad intentions but had higher hopes for your new family that they would not fall to the old family tricks. But they did. (sad face)

        April 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Your analogy fails because it has nothing to do with the actual story nor does it prove your god exists!!

          April 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • colin31714

          Yes, but the Bible does not say any of this. It says Adam and Eve simply ate a prohibited fruit. Hardly a capital offense, even if they did exist (and we all know they didn't). But the illogic of the Christians doesn't stop there. Future generations are punished for something done by their ancestors. This makes about as much sense as holding the entire population of England responsible for the sins of Henry VIII.

          Christianity is a poorly conceived and illogical doctrine to explain the death of its leader, based on Bronze Age mythology, wrapped up in layers of Dark Ages superst.itions.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • sevensyster

          colin31714 yes it does in fact tell us this. Genesis 6.

          April 6, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • lewcypher

          seven, are you a Star Wars fan?

          April 6, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • merlemorrigan

      ". . . some people from another town came over and took it over."

      what? Some other God have a creation in another county, somewhere? Where did these "people" come from if not created by God? In for a penny (on the Judeo creation story) in for a pound!

      April 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • hotairace

        If someone believes in the basic Babble story (there is a god) then there is nothing they won't say or do to maintain that belief. Heaping lies upon lies is just what has to be done to maintain the delusion.

        April 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • ifhorseshadgods

          They just continue to "double down" on their bets/lies. Faith is what a person needs to believe what they know is not true.

          April 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • sevensyster

        Read Genesis 6

        April 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • otoh2


          You remind me of the Thermians, the alien race in the movie Galaxy Quest - they received broadcasts way out in space of episodes of a Star Trek-like TV series and thought they were real. They built their whole society around the fictional fantasy capers on the show and glorified the heroes as divine.

          Your old stories are the fantasy tales of ancient Middle Eastern men - creative guys, with perhaps a smidgeon of facts about their tribe's history and a few beneficial morality tales, but mainly myth, fantasy and supersit.ion.

          April 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • djangoboy

          OK, just read Genesis 6. What's your point?

          April 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      Yeah, that's like making a bad pot of stew then blaming the stew.

      April 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  15. sevensyster

    The whole story of Noah, as told in the Bible has to do with the fallen angels and their half human off springs called Nephilim.
    Nephilims were the product of the fallen angels who trespassed on Earth and took the women for their own as many as they wanted and had babies with them. Genesis 6
    Now these nephilim and the fallen angels (who were seen as Gods in Egypt) oppressed the people and also taught them about jewels, gold, iron working, war....and also forced many sacrifices of humans to these Gods. They were evil and they corrupted the whole world. If you read David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17 you read about the giant who taunted day and night for 40 days... and these were the same nephilim that was talked about in Genesis 6.

    April 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Ummm – are you simply summarizing what is in the bible for us, or do you actually believe what you just posted to be the truth?

      April 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • sevensyster

        Of course its the truth.

        April 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Come on! You're pulling my leg, right? You don't actually believe that, do you?

          April 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • lewcypher

          faith is not truth

          April 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • sevensyster

      Its the truth. Usually simple explanations are the truth.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
      • igaftr

        The truth is, we know the flood never happened, making the Noah story, nothing but myth.

        April 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • sevensyster

          There is proof the flood happened. Its out there go find it.

          April 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ seven: right!

          Let me ask you this: you seem perfectly fine using the internet to post these comments, right? Now, how is that happening? Over many years, scientists developed theories, refined them, put them into practice, and ultimately, you can converse with people around the world. Yay science, right? So why is it that you would ignore all of the scientists who are unequivocal in stating that Noah's world-wide flood did NOT happen?

          Why is one kind of science fine, but the other not fine?

          April 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • hotairace

          You claimed the flood happened therefore the onus is on you to prove your claim.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • igaftr

          no seven.
          There is no evidence at all of any flood occurring worldwide at the same time. That evidence is not there. That is only one of the many flaws in the story. Many sciences prove the flood did not happen, not all at once all around the world.

          There are just too many reasons why we can show it never happened for any logical reasonable person to accept it as if it were true. It is a myth, a common theme for men to write about is their fear...this story simply grew until it was a world wide event, but we know from not only the total lack of evidence to support it, but the evidence that clearly shows it never happened.

          If you think you have proof of a world wide flood event, by all means, share it, and I will show the error of it.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • cramerjean

          Many other religions also contain flood myths. For a time, that led scientists to look for archeological evidence that there might have been a great global flood at some time in human pre-history, before recorded history, when stories were passed down orally. However, they haven't found the evidence for any global flooding event. The currently favored anthropological explanation for the similar myths is twofold. Humanity, by necessity, lives near water, which tends to floods occasionally. Every society throughout history has experienced some level of flood damage. Add to that the fact that the very nature of water itself has resulted in it's use as a symbol of cleansing. It's not surprising that unconnected societies would independently create similar myths.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • sevensyster

          One of the strongest pieces of evidence for a worldwide flood is the existence of what Rupke termed "polystrate fossils." Such fossils are found all over the world. They usually consist of fossil trees that were buried upright, and which often traverse multiple layers of strata such as sandstone, limestone, shale, and even coal beds. 1,2,3,4 They range in size from small rootlets to trees over 80 feet long. 3, Sometimes they are oblique in relation to the surrounding strata, but more often they are perpendicular to it. For example, at Joggins, Nova Scotia, polystrate tree (and root) fossils are found at various intervals throughout roughly 2,500 feet of strata. Many of these are from 10-20 feet long, 5,6 and, at least one was 40 feet long. 5,6,7.
          The Fossils
          Fossils don't form on lake bottoms today, nor are they found forming on the bottom of the sea. 15 Instead, they normally only form when a plant or animal is buried soon after it dies. 16 Therefore, the fossils themselves are evidence of a catastrophe such as a flood or volcanic eruption that took place in the past.
          A Whale of a Fossil:
          Or should we say "a fossil of a whale? It's true, but what is most interesting about it is how it was buried. In 1976, workers from the Dicalite division of Grefco inc. found the remains of a baleen whale entombed vertically in a diatomaceous earth quarry.

          Very few of these upright fossil trees have attached roots, and only about 1 in 50 8 have both roots and rootlets attached. Such trees, and their - more often than not - missing roots, are discussed in detail in The "Fossil Forests" of Nova Scotia. 9 Likewise many, if not most, of the large, fragmented, and broken-off Stigmaria roots are also missing their rootlets. In fact, that's how such "stigmaria" roots got their name: i.e. because of their broken off - and/or missing - rootlets. 9

          Many of these roots and rootlets, are also buried individually. 9 Thus virtually proving that they were not buried "in place" where they grew (or "in situ"), but rather were uprooted and re-buried where they are now found.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • cramerjean

          At some point in early earth history, the entire globe was covered by water. No one disputes that many of today's land masses spent some time under water. What hasn't been proven is the occurrence of a global flood of land, subsequently receding, in human history.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • igaftr

          You realize that it is wrong to cut and paste from someone elses work and not crediting it , right. It is the same as stealing. The site you pulled this garbage from is :


          There is no scientifically, peer reviewed information on that site.
          They do not provide accurate dates of their alleged data, and there are many other things wrong with it.

          Also, that does not address the fact that you would need 5 times the water on the planet to flood thae earth to the level the myth says, Noah could not have built a watyer tight craft using the stone tools he would have had at that time, the salinity of the oceans would change enough to kill all life in the oceans, so that would end the food chains, ending all life for a very long time.
          That is just a few of the things wrong with the myth.

          In the future, I would not go to any creationist sites for information...all you find there is smoke and mirrors.
          Can you find any peer reviewed scientific data, not just scientific sounding like the garbage you posted?

          And in the future, give credit to your writers, since you are trying to parrot non-scientists.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • lewcypher

          you clearly ignore the evidence based explanations for stigmaria (polystrate fossils).

          April 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • hotairace

          seven system, I found about 10 articles debunking polystrate fossils for every article saying they are evidence of a flood. Articles claiming them as evidence of a flood all appeared to be on religious/creationist sites. Why do you ignore the counter arguments? Are you pretending to know things just to bolster your irrational believe in supernatural beings and The Babble?

          April 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
      • sam stone

        usually simple explanations are the truth? based on what?

        April 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • hotairace

          He might have a point. Jesus not actually being resurrected is a much simpler explanation than him being resurrected.

          April 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • bostontola

      My daughter criticized the Harry Potter movies for the errors/changes from the definitive source, the books. That's what it sounds like when people criticize bible movies, this fiction is wrong because that fiction is the source. It's really amusing.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      There are a list of 101 Reasons why you're wrong about the flood story here: http://www.biblicalnonsense.com/chapter6.html

      Not to mention the obvious: there was not the technology needed to build a ship that large that would carry 2 of every animal; 8 human's; supplies for all species; and no way to dispose of waste.

      This is such a childish story that basically tells one that god screwed up and as a result he decided to be a vindictive mass murderer and kill everyone but 8 people. Not to mention the further implications that in order to repopulate would mean that family members were having sex with each other-so your god supports incest also.

      You might wish to take some basic science courses and move away from the trailer park...maybe ask Mommy to send you to public school to get a good education because she's doing a poor job home schooling you!

      April 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  16. bostontola

    As an atheist it may surprise you that I regard gods as existing. There is no don't in my mind that gods have been extremely influential in the development of humans. They exist in the minds of people and in many cases is the dominant thought process in their minds.

    So subjective gods not only exist, they are prevalent. Objective gods? No evidence for any of them, but that doesn't seem to matter.

    April 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      don't s/b doubt.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • tallulah131

      "Gods" are simply powerful ideas that can influence cultures and individuals. In that context, they are do indeed exist.

      April 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
  17. brianshirley73

    The author says that the god of the OT is different than the god of the NT. How does he fit that square peg into the round hole that god is perfect but changes based on the conditions of mankind? I would say he makes the perfect argument that religion and god are manmade because if god was perfect, he wouldn't have to change himself to fit man. Glad I'm an atheist. I would hate to have to try to make any of that fiction make sense! And then base my whole life on it? And this is after almost 40 years of reading the Bible and going to church. One day I just realized...none of this makes any sense. Why am I trying to worship a god that makes me be born sick (sin), commands me to love him in order to be well (salvation), and then condemns me to everlasting torment if I refuse? Also could never figure out why 9 million children under the age of 5 die every year from simple causes like diarrhea in third world countries while archbishops are building 2 million dollar mansions and the Vatican has billions of dollars in art...think they could may get these kids some clean water and some vaccinations?

    April 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
  18. deecee10000

    Uh, doesn't "god" still try to destroy everything at the end of the bible? What about the plagues, earthquakes and torturing of human beings "god" sends onto the entire earth in "Revelations"? "God" is still a total jerk at the end of the bible.

    April 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • basehitter

      Old habits are hard to break.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        I'm taking my ball and I'm going home!

        April 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
  19. basehitter

    I find it interesting listening to different Christians reconcile the OT with the NT

    Some claim to OT is irrelevant, that only the NT matters.

    Others take the entire bible,,OT and NT as the absolute word of god.

    Others say it's all about the NT, but apply parts of the OT they like while ignoring the parts they don't like.

    It seems to be an obvious source of disagreement and confusion among Christians. But it seems there are as many ways to reconcile the OT with the NT as there are Christians.

    April 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • hotairace

      There is no real need to reconcile fiction.

      April 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  20. totalrecall9

    More atheists writing about God when they don't even understand the Bible. Funny how atheists are so consumed with talking about God!! Yeah, you know he exists but you love your sinful vices and you want to take more people with you to hell.

    April 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      *groan*.......I hope you're not for real because you make Christians look like imbeciles and uneducated trailer park toothless idiots.

      April 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Why am I suddenly getting a flashback of the Simpsons, with "Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel".

        April 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      totalrecall: ooh, hell. pretty scary stuff, for those who believe that tripe

      April 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      I am a Recovering Christian like many other Atheists on this blog are. The reason for our disbelief is because we have read the bible with an open-mind and we have listened to what the updated evidence says and we have come to the conclusion that outside of your holy book, there is no evidence for your god. You can make all the assumptions you wish, it doesn't make you right.

      April 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • igaftr

      " Yeah, you know he exists but you love your sinful vices and you want to take more people with you to hell."

      How exaclty is you violating one of your commandments helping? Bearing false witness is a no-no, silly christian.

      April 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • hotairace

      And what sinful vices are you talking about? If you know so much about atheists, you should be able to itemize the sins each of us is allegedly engaged in. Or are you pretending to know things you do not, spewing unsupported bullsh!t?

      April 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
    • fuzzywuzzywuzntfuzzywuzhe

      Actually your statement that atheists don't understand the bible may not be true for many. I became an atheist after having spent most of my life as a Christian, but when I became engulfed in a fundamentalist group and actually began reading and researching the bible in earnest, I became an atheist. I'm very well versed in biblical teachings and could give a substantial rant into the ridiculousness of believing the nonsense.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • doobzz

      "Yeah, you know he exists but you love your sinful vices and you want to take more people with you to hell."

      What vices? Like lying about others because they don't buy into your nasty, angry, jealous deity and his book of nonsense?

      April 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • cramerjean

      You shouldn't make generalizations. I was raised christian, active in church, member of a christian fellowship in college. I did years of bible study groups. I've read the bible cover to cover twice. The more I studied, the less sense it made. I'm now an atheist and I'm at peace with that.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • observer


      Skip the HYPOCRISY. There's virtually NO CHANCE that you believe and support everything in the Bible. If hell exists, it's going to be jam-packed with Christian HYPOCRITES.

      April 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
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About this blog

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