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The worst places in the world to be religious
Rohingya Muslim children at a refugee camp in Burma, where authorities have incited violence against them, according to the State Department.
May 15th, 2014
10:56 AM ET

The worst places in the world to be religious

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world's worst abusers of religious rights. 

As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.

Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion."

In typically bland bureaucratic language, the State Department calls these "countries of particular concern." But the designation can come with some teeth.

Sudan, for example, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death this week for leaving Islam, is ineligible for some types of foreign aid.

In addition to Sudan, here are the State Department's "countries of particular concern." You might call them "The Worst Places in the World to Be Religious."

Burma: The Burmese government puts a stranglehold on every religion except Theravada Buddhism, says the State Department.

Some government officials even enticed non-Buddhists to convert, and Muslims in the state of Rakhine, particularly Rohingya Muslims, are subject to discrimination and lethal violence, according to the State Department.

China: "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice," the State Department says.

That includes jailing Uyghur Muslims, one of whom was sentenced to 10 years for "selling illegal religious material," and Catholic clergy who were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association.

That pales compared with the persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, according to the State Department, who suffered through "an intense official crackdown at monasteries and nunneries, resulting in the loss of life, arbitrary detentions, and torture." 

Eritrea: Just four religious groups are officially allowed to openly practice their faith in this African nation; the rest are subject to jailing or worse.

So if you're not an Eritrean Orthodox Christian, a Sunni Muslim, a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical Lutheran, life could be tough for you here. Harsh detentions for religious dissenters are the norm, according to the State Department.

Iran:  This Muslim-majority country's respect for religious rights has declined in recent years, according to the State Department.

"There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for their religious activities," says the department's report.

The government has imprisoned numerous members of the Baha'i faith and Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has been physically and psychologically abused, according to the State Department.

Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor 

North Korea: Human rights groups provided numerous reports that members of underground churches were arrested, beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs, the State Department says.

The authoritarian nation has jailed as many as 200,000 political prisoners, according to the State Department, many on religious grounds. The country discourages any religious activity not sanctioned by officially recognized groups.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American reportedly accused of spreading Christianity in North Korea, was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years of hard labor.

Kenneth Bae worried about his health in North Korean camp

Saudi Arabia: The oil-rich monarchy doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

Sunni Islam is the official religion, and the country's constitution is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The public practice of any other religion is prohibited, according to the State Department, and Arabian authorities beheaded a man in 2012 for engaging in "sorcery."

Sudan: This country has been on the State Department's naughty list since its inception in 1999.

Sudan penalizes blasphemy and conversion from Islam, sentencing a Christian woman whom judges say converted from Islam to death this week.

The country has also arrested and deported Western Christians suspected of spreading their faith, according to the State Department.

Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to death for her faith

The country's "morality police" require strict obedience to its interpretation of Islamic law, beating and stoning women accused of acting "indecently."

Uzbekistan: Technically, this country's laws respect religious rights.

But in practice, the Central Asian nation maintains strict control of its majority-Muslim population, according to the State Department.

"The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourage minors from practicing their faith," the department said in its 2012 report. 

People jailed on charges of "religious extremism" have been beaten, tortured and even killed, according to the State Department.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Africa • Baha'i • China • Christianity • Church and state • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Iran • Islam • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • North Korea • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious violence • Saudi Arabia • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

soundoff (2,628 Responses)
  1. Sheik Yerbouti

    Try explaining to a Christian that they are only a Christian because they were:

    A. Born into a Christian family
    B. A loser that “found” God to get their life back on track
    C. Looking for friends

    Any Christian could just as easily be any other religion. It all depends on location. Why do some people not get sucked in to the Bible nonsense? They were born with common sense and rejected the obvious absurdity of religion.

    May 20, 2014 at 11:09 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Or, try explaining to some guy on the internet that:

      a. Nope.

      b. Nope.

      c. Nope.

      None of those reasons are why I follow Christ.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Do tell because those are three of the biggest reasons. It is hard to believe that you just stumbled upon the belief system by accident and decided that such an absurd set of beliefs made actual sense, unless of course you were not educated or you were having some personal struggles in this world-it takes a weak mind to accept those beliefs.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          He said he could explain it.

          Jesus gives reasons why we should and shouldn't follow him.

          They don't really line up with the OP's claim.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          You mean Jesus ALLEGEDLY gave rerasons, since nothing attributed to Jesus can be confirmed he said it. Likely just more of the writers embellishment.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Alias

          More desperate twisting of context from a christian.
          Good job Dalahast!

          May 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Dal: You claim none of the reasons given are why you fell in to it, so why did you? I don't care what you think jesus wanted or said-none of that can be verified with any amount of accuracy to show he actually said anything.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          The answer for Dala is likey #1 but he won't accept that is why he is a Christian because he believes even though he was born into a community or family that pushed Christianity he thinks he is one of the few who actually studied it impartially and came to believe it based on his own research. Sure he was biased as it was already the default religion in his neighborhood, but he wants to feel more superior than the rest of those "fake" Christians you mentioned with your OP.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That was a very bad guess. I dislike when people, whether they are very religious or very atheistic, start imagining why someone else believes what they believe and tries to state it as a fact. Don't you?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Dala: Once again, how did you come to your belief if none of what the OP stated pertains to you??

          May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is way more complex than the OP suggests. Whatever means you took to arrive at your personal beliefs are similar to what I took to arrive at mine.

          He claimed he could explain them. But never did.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • samsstones

        Dala...
        Perhaps my memory is faulty but have you stated that you were a screw up before you found jesus and his presence has enhanced your life and moral outlook. That would plainly put you in category b, would it not? BTW don't retort with your usual, "you don't know what I believe BS", you have worn that deflection out by now. Of course no one knows what you believe, because you are a slippery fellow that slithers around on a daily basis. The people that I talk with (another one or your favorites) truly believe that your comments are from a loser, see how that works.

        May 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have never stated I was a screw up before I found Jesus. Nor have I said anything about a moral outlook.

          Do you think it is ok to suggest there are only 3 reasons why one believe what they believe? It seems far too simplistic to be sufficient. It seems like the OP just hates Christians and was looking for reasons to put them down.

          That is what bigots do. I don't mind standing up to a bigot. I'm still waiting for him to explain it.

          You think I'm a loser?

          May 20, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Dala knows that in general the OP is absolutely right, but he hates that fact and wants to try and dilute it with anecdotal personal stories of why he doesn't fit those generalities.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nah. The OP is stereotyping people he doesn't like. I do the same kinds of things sometimes.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • samsstones

          Dala...
          How many times have you stated that you don't give a good god damn what fellow posters think of you? Are you going to deny that too? Why don't you just come out and say why you are a Christian rather than play your silly word games? BTW yes all my christian friends think that you are a loser.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How many times have you stated that you don't give a good god damn what fellow posters think of you? Are you going to deny that too? Why don't you just come out and say why you are a Christian rather than play your silly word games? BTW yes all my christian friends think that you are a loser.

          What are you talking about? Of course I'm a Christian. But that doesn't mean I'm the stereotyped version of a Christian that the OP was talking about.

          I care what others think about me. But I don't let them dictate to me their opinion as a fact. Tell your 'Christian friends' I said hi!

          May 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @samstone..sounds like your "Christian friends" are cultural Christians...who let culture dictate their belief..not oGod...they wanna be seen as "nice guys who are not bigots" so much as to say being gay is ok by the Bible.....etc.....yeah..so much for so called "Christians" listen..I can tell you IM a doctor...I do surgery on peoples brains......take my word for it..don't be skeptical...I said I am....and don't let other doctors tell you IM a false doctor....lol....get it now?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • samsstones

          kermi
          Learn how to write in a coherent manner and people may pay attention to you. I gave up after just two lines

          May 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Dala, You have previously posted that you were born into a christian family, wandered away, and came back. So I think a) does apply to you. My reason being that you returned to what you knew. I've never seen a christian explain why given a choice of many religions they chose christianity; actually one did say they prefer their gods with only two arms but I've never really seen any compelling comparison given that there is no more evidence for any given god than for any other god.

        May 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My Dad was Christian, my Mom was not. I was openly atheist at the age of 15 or 16...

          My Dad used to drop me and my sister off at Sunday School and he would drive home and read the paper. That lasted until I was in the 2nd grade.

          It is not why I choose to follow Jesus. And what Jesus is recorded as saying in the Gospels: that is not a good reason to follow Him.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • colin31714

      I would add:

      d. Mentally unbalanced.

      I know of a lot of Jesus cuddlers who spend time on a couch each week talking to a guy with a degree or who are actually locked up.

      But, your broader point is well taken. To be a Jesus nut, you are either born into it or mentally or socially deficient. How else do you explain the nonsense they have to believe to be Christians.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Here is how you explain it:

        What Colin imagines, is not what they believe.

        It is just what he imagines.

        And there are plenty of atheist people just like Colin and the OP who are mentally unbalanced. Look at the evidence.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....what evidence?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          His behavior and words.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....actually, he is among the most eloquent and intelligent posters here. Your delusions continue, as you are unable to see even that.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          He uses derogatory terms to put down groups of people he doesn't like. He is prone to fits of rage. He give packaged answers for replies. He dodges questions. Instead of discussing, he insists he is right.

          That is what I've observed. And he has a lot of free time on his hands.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dala, Where is the evidence for "... there are plenty of atheist people ... who are mentally unbalanced. "

          May 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've had experience with mentally unbalanced people. Some happened to be atheists. Have you never met a person that was mentally unbalanced that happen to be an atheist?

          I think all people have some shortcomings in mental soundness. Atheists are not exempt from that.

          May 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
  2. ragansteve1

    The really sad part about the secular Humanist or perhaps atheist posts on this thread is that those posting don't realize that their "philosophy" is simply another religion. But it's a religion without hope. Dawkins perhaps said it best in an interview when he responded to questions about man's future and purpose on earth. There is no future after death in his world view. There is no purpose beyond himself. That takes a lot of faith to believe and it is probably the saddest religion in the world.

    May 20, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • observer

      ragansteve1,

      Sadder still are the HYPOCRITES who use their religion to make other people's lives worse.

      May 20, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • fintronics

      Actually what is truly sad is believers twisting word definitions to fit their personal delusions. While atheists may have philosophies regarding many things, atheism only refers to belief in god, simply a lack of belief in god, nothing else.

      May 20, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      LIVE AGAIN (The Fall of Man)

      "The road is narrow, the horizon wide
      And to say what’s waiting on the other side
      Is so rewarding and the ultimate prize
      But what good is something if you can’t have it until you die?

      Desperate, tenacious, clinging like a grain of sand
      Watching its foundation wash away (wash away)
      Drunk with the assertions they know they can’t defend
      Confident that they might…live again "

      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      May 20, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose."
        -Jim Elliot

        May 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I would agree that secular humanism is a form of religion.

      Atheism is not.

      Do not confuse the passion or even zealotry for ideas that some possess with belief. Atheism is not a religion.

      May 20, 2014 at 10:49 am |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      ragansteve1

      What I hear you saying is that you prefer "hope" whether true or false, than reality. Now that is sad.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:02 am |
      • James XCIX

        Yes, that was my take on it as well.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • igaftr

      steve
      "philosophy" is simply another religion." No it is not. You need to learn the definition of religion.

      " But it's a religion without hope". Not a religion, and why do you think there is no hope? Baseless ignorant nonsense.

      "That takes a lot of faith to believe and it is probably the saddest religion in the world."

      What "faith" is required for you to NOT believe Santa is real? It requires NO FAITH to NOT believe in baseless supernatural claims.

      Get an education, and have an adult teach you about the big words.
      What is truly sad is you belive this garbage.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • Doris

      ragansteve1: "The really sad part about the secular Humanist or perhaps atheist posts on this thread is that those posting don't realize that their "philosophy" is simply another religion."

      That seems absurd. What qualities does atheism share with religion?

      ragansteve1: "But it's a religion without hope. Dawkins perhaps said it best in an interview when he responded to questions about man's future and purpose on earth. There is no future after death in his world view. There is no purpose beyond himself. That takes a lot of faith to believe and it is probably the saddest religion in the world."

      Nonsense. Although atheists most likely do not have a world view that includes a grand intelligent supernatural being involved in their lives, they most certainly have hopes for their lives and the lives of future generations. One could also argue that since the atheist does not rely on the alleged certainty of an afterlife, that this life for both himself and for future generations are more important to him than the theist: non-dismissible. We seem to hear often on this blog from certain theists that the horrors for some in the present life are inconsequential in light of the alleged upcoming afterlife – an excuse that I find quite pathetic.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • bostontola

      "But it's a religion without hope."
      -> I won't descend into the pointless argument of whether atheism is a religion, but hope is not evidence of truth. Most other religions have hope of existence after death and you probably don't regard them as truth. Atheists have the same hopes and dreams of other people save 1, they don't have hope in an afterlife.

      There is no future after death in his world view.
      -> Same point, belief in an afterlife is not evidence of truth. What about pre-life existence, why is afterlife special?

      There is no purpose beyond himself.
      -> I am an atheist and I recognize purpose beyond myself. I love freedom, community, family, and have devoted my life to protecting it.

      That takes a lot of faith to believe and it is probably the saddest religion in the world.
      -> I don't think you understand faith at all if you say that. Faith is belief without objective evidence, atheists believe in things that are supported by objective evidence. Since no God is supported by objective evidence, they lack belief in God.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:08 am |
    • fintronics

      Believers are so used to playing their "this means that" game with the bible that it's easy to carryover that approach into the real world, changing accepted definitions to make them feel better about their confusion of mythology with reality.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah131

      ragansteve1: You speak from a position of ignorance, making the same arguments that have been debunked time and again on these boards. You believe you are somehow more enlightened than non-believers, yet you are the one who needs something other than this reality to feel purpose and hope, who needs an unsubstantiated supernatural reward in order for you to simply do the right thing. There is no virtue in that.

      Being a mortal, finite human is good enough for me. This world is enough for me. It's sad that it's not good enough for you.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There are really only 2 reason to try and label atheism a religion.

      You are either trying to bring religion up to the same level as non-belief....or your are trying to drag non-belief down to religions level.

      Neither option is very complimentary for your position.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • bostontola

        Excellent point. The 'Atheism is a religion' assertion is the same as 'you are no better than I am'. That is an argument from an inferior position. It reveals that the person making the argument feels inferior.

        If a person thought belief and religion is superior, why would they include vile atheism in that club?

        May 20, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It is rather funny when the religious use the word "religion" as a slur...

          May 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      The parallels between the extreme religious and the extreme atheistic are very interesting. They have a lot in common.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        What they have in common is zealotry, not belief.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's right. The mentality is the same. It seems to lead to similar results.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Yes, there can be a very similar "I am right and you are wrong" mentality, but that doesn't mean that atheism is a religion.

          I get tired of people conflating all atheists as anti-theists.

          I have a theory that there are many believers who cannot comprehend disbelief. They believe in *something*, therefore others must also believe in *something*. This is not disbelief.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Atheism is just disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

          But some atheists start saying "we atheists do this..." or "we atheists believe that"... and they start doing something more with their disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of Gods or gods. Some start churches. Some actually do start religions.

          So, yea, some atheists definitely treat their atheism like a religion.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          *Some* certainly do.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          dala: "So, yea, some atheists definitely treat their atheism like a religion."

          i see nothing wrong with like minded people coming together into a communal setting.
          however calling it a "religion" would be like saying people that come together to play "magic the gathering" are treating it as a religion.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The *some* that certainly do also visit religious, faith and belief blogs often and *preach*.... a lot.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          dala:

          nah most of us are probably just bored at our jobs being paid way too much to sit at a computer and run files. or what not; me i just enjoy poking at people and seeing their reactions.
          i'm an observer of human nature. i love seeing what makes humans truly tick and love the hot button topics, along with online interactions between people having different guidelines as opposed to face to face interactions i enjoy studying the differences.
          i highly doubt you would be so "high on your horse" if any of those on here met you in person.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I doubt you would be so high up on your horse, either. Agreed.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Dally, I know you for an extreme religionist, a true diehard of the faith, but what is an extreme atheist? We don't preach, tell others that they can't marry those they love, deny human rights to those of a different lifestyle. We don't tell folks they are going to a mythical place of fire and brimstoe if they don't shape up to some gods standandards like some extreme xtians do (actually, most do). We don't tell people they were born sinners, that there is a god who hates that, but gave it to them in the first place, so you could work it off by worshipping it. Where is the commonality? Stretch things much?

        May 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          -We don't preach, tell others that they can't marry those they love, deny human rights to those of a different lifestyle. We don't tell folks they are going to a mythical place of fire and brimstoe if they don't shape up to some gods standandards like some extreme xtians do (actually, most do).

          I don't do that either.

          Who is your "we"?

          -We don't tell people they were born sinners, that there is a god who hates that, but gave it to them in the first place, so you could work it off by worshipping it.

          I don't do that either.

          Who is your "we"?

          – Where is the commonality? Stretch things much?

          THere are atheists that start religions. They have churches. THey try to step on the toes of their fellow human beings. They are flawed just like everyone else.

          Most atheists are not like that.

          Do you stretch things much?

          May 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "what is an extreme atheist? We don't preach...
          --------------
          Militant anti-theists are what falls into the umbrella of "extreme atheist". Many do in fact preach.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, boy, do they preach!

          May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Jill

          "Do you stretch things much?"

          Personally I like to stretch things a whole lot. It is often at the edge and corner cases that we see how precious tenets break down.

          Pressurize, evacuate, sigh. That is the only way to satisfaction for the inelastic diesel chicken.

          And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint mozart.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's right, Jill. Thanks.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      What is sad raggedsteve1, is that the christian faith is a religion of death, and one of pessimism; a religion that teaches those of faith are nothing, a loser from the day they were conceived, born with sin, losers all; worthless in yhier god's eyes. A religion that people of faith have to kow-tow to an petulant god, please him through worship, and ask for guidance through prayer (which is nothing more than talking to yourself). Through the tangles of worship,etc, they hope to appease the christian god enough to get to heaven, hoping against hope that there is one, but to afarid not to believe as this has been pounded into their heads since childhood, and they are afraid to look past that. It could be that christians need a crutch, to make them feel good, after they got hooked on drugs, alcohol or it's possoble some did some bad deeds that they need penance for, while trying to escapes true justice from the law. It could be one big social club as well, after all, we all like to be with those who think, talk and act like we do, all in the name of some long dead guy, whom no one really knows existed..

      It is not the atheist who will get the surprise, but those of faith, believing that they will get eternal life after their life of worship. If the atheist does get a surprise, after death, it may be that he finds him/herself in heaven with the likes of you. That would be hell indeed.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        That is pretty much what most Christian people I know tell me is NOT what following Jesus entails.

        Pretty much the complete opposite. Thank God.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Dally answer the question. You are a bit on the pathetic side. By all means thank your god, it doesn't really give a rat's a$$ about you, but you sure love it. That's sad, living your life by proxy. What happened to you "free will?"

          May 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You didn't ask any question. You just made statements. Relax.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Relax? arrorant much, boyo? I asked you for the commonality. Reread my post and tell me what we have in common.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think you got your posts mixed up.

          The only thing you asked me in this thread was "What happened to your free will?", but that was after saying I didn't answer your question.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • zhilla1980wasp

      ragan: a few reasons you fail.

      1) atheism is simply no belief in gods, that's it nothing more. we just don't buy into super-power heroes coming to save us.

      2) our values and reasons to help our fellow man come from our hearts, not some instructions in a bronze age fairytale.

      3) personally my hope and the reason i work so hard, even if it's carrying my refuse to a trash bin or recycle spot is i want my children to have a beautiful place to live. (not like some folks that have a super-nanny jesus coming to clean up his childrens messy room.)

      4) all of atheists have dealt with religion in onr form or another, seeing most were raised, such as myself, religious. i sat down and read the bible cover to cover as a child/teen; i tried to find a reason my siblings and i were being tortured as children, seeing we were "the age of innocence" and suppose to be under god's protection. what i found in the bible terrified me to no end. if christians truly followed their "bibical laws".............well i wouldn't be alive today.

      5) dawkins was correct; we have no purpose on earth. a lion or deer doesn't have a purpose either, they exist and survive according to how well they fight to live. if all the lions just stopped hunting, they would stop existing.
      humans are the same, the moment humans collectively stop functioning and fighting to the best of our abilities to survive.........we go extinct. there isn't some great plan or inventor behind humans, we exist because we can, not because we were suppose to. humans as we are aren't the final product; we have too many things that serve no purpose and require others adaptations to increase those abilities we are born with.
      so humans in another millions of years will not look anything as the humans of today. evolution is fact, we as a species will adapt and over come or we will go extinct.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        1) atheism is simply no belief in gods, that's it nothing more.

        The end.

        we just don't buy into super-power heroes coming to save us. – that is not atheism.

        Not all "atheists' agree with those things. Nor should you say "we" believe this or that.

        atheism is simply no belief in gods, that's it nothing more.

        our values and reasons to help our fellow man come from our hearts, not some instructions in a bronze age fairytale. – that is not atheism.

        atheism is simply no belief in gods, that's it nothing more.

        You are describing something like secular humanism – which is a religion.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "atheism is simply no belief in gods, that's it nothing more
          ----------------
          Agreed.

          People who are secular humanists identify as such and form congregations. This is a requirement to label secular humanism as a religion.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          Since when is secular humanism a religion? It, by definition rejects the religious dogma.
          I'm not sure why you can't seem to understand what the definition of religion is. Look it up. Have an adult explain it to you.
          Also , this does not describe secular humanism...although some atheists might be secular humanists. They were telling you that atheism end with NON-belief. What the individual atheist might believe may fit into some pigeon hole, but that is not universal to atheists, so you have once again failed.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Since when is secular humanism a religion?
          -------------
          When secular humanists do all the other things that the religious do, (defining common values, regularly attending 'services', establishing ritual forms etc) it becomes indistinguishable.

          I agree in that it differs in that there is no sacred text.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          ig –

          Not all atheists will agree with you.

          Some will say that there are atheists that are religious.

          I think something like 10% of all US atheists claim to be religious.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          Where did you get that statistic? By every defintion of religion I have ever seen, there needs to be some supernatural element...oh wait...is this yet another case of christians redefining a word to fit what they think the definition means...ah of course it is. so by all means, what is the definition of religion you are going from. To think that people who do not believe in god are religious is complete nonsense, by definition, impossible.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Pew research –

          I got my % wrong

          "3% consider themselves religious people. "

          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/23/5-facts-about-atheists/

          May 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          3% of atheists considering themselves to be religious is much more plausible.

          3% of about 2.3% (also Pew data) is a very small number of people.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is a small percentage. Probably larger than the percentage of atheists who religiously (as in frequently) post on faith and belief blogs.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          So you quote from an article where the writer does not know the difference between and agnostic and an atheist. I see.
          By definition, atheists do not believe in god ( by any known definition of god), so cannot by definition be religious. An agnostic can believe in some undefined energy in the universe, but since there is no religious dogma to follow, are also not religious.

          You are clearly ( and so is the writer of the article) confued by the ACTUAL definitions, so is mis defining their results. If this article had been submitted to me, I would grade it very low, because they clearly do not understand the terms they are using.

          Nice try but by definition, atheists are not religious.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          By definition they are not religious. YES! I've never said differently.

          By definition, there is nothing that prevents an atheist from being religious. NOTHING.

          By definition an agnostic can be agnostic about anything. I'm agnostic on universal health care.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "religiously (as in frequently)"
          ------------
          That's a bit intentionally misleading don't you think. You understand the distinction much better than to make this assertion.

          I know you are making a pun on usage like "he religiously attended Green Bay Packer home games wearing his cheese head hat" but this usage is misleading here. Frequency is orthogonal to religiosity.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some are very devoted to their atheism. Seriously, suggesting they are religiously posting on here is quite accurate.

          I looked at a lot of synonyms, and that seemed to be the best word. And it is funny.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          My atheism isn't a religion. It's more of a close, personal relationship with measurable reality. (smiley)

          However, I could be wrong in spite of this. Show me enough measurable proof for any god, proof that forgoes any reasonable possibility that I'm just deluding myself, and I would have no choice but to believe.

          Many believers, however, appear not to even entertain the possibility that they could be wrong. Wouldn't you say that that could be a sign of delusion?

          May 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know plenty of believers that admit they could be wrong. Who are agnostic on most matters. Who aren't afraid to entertain the possibility that they could be wrong.

          Just like I know non-believers that fail to live up to those ideals of yours.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I don't know of any atheist who isn't actually also agnostic. It's impossible to eliminate the possibility that some god may exist somewhere in the universe, but we don't have to be 100% certain to not believe claims of an actual god. Certain gods, like the one typically described by Christians, appear t be just too illogical to possibly be real, but (almost) stranger things in nature have ultimately proven to be nevertheless true. The time to actually believe in such things is after the evidence comes in to support such a belief IMHO.

          I can't think of another regular apologist here who appears open to the possibility that they're wrong, can you? Sadly, you appear to be the vast exception to the rule.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I had an atheist tell me atheists can not be agnostics. They are 2 different things.

          I guess you can just cherry pick what definition works best for you.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
  3. Sheik Yerbouti

    Jesus is dead.

    May 20, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  4. Sheik Yerbouti

    No facts.
    No proof.
    No magic.
    No gods.

    Prove otherwise believers. You can’t.

    May 20, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  5. Sheik Yerbouti

    I am a Dan Brown scholar but I don’t try to convince people it is true

    May 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Last century, L Ron Hubbard wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has millions of followers.

    200 years ago, Joseph Smith wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has tens of millions of followers.

    A few thousand years ago, unnamed desert dwelling goat herders wrote a book, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and they have hundreds of millions of followers.

    Do you see that the only thing that makes your christian religion more popular than any other of these obvious scams is the amount of time it has had for your deluded cult members to breed and indoctrinate their children.

    So have a good think about how preposterous scientology and mormonism sound to you, and know that christianity is just the same thing with a bigger head start.

    May 20, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      At least Hubbard was original.
      The Book of Mormon is just a New Testament knockoff, which is in and of itself a Torah knockoff.
      As with most series, the sequels just keep getting worse....

      May 20, 2014 at 9:20 am |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Good points.

      May 20, 2014 at 9:21 am |
    • zhilla1980wasp

      dog:

      myself i much prefer the anaolgy of orson wells first live broadcast of "war of the worlds".
      people were so moved and convinced by his words they truly believed that we were under attack by aliens from mars.
      many people made a run on the banks and food stores in thier panic.

      now if these "modern" people had stopped and thought logically about what was being said, i'm certain they could have called the local directory and asked them to patch them through to any number in that area "that was under attack" and just asked them " hey what's up over there, are you being attacked right now?"
      logic fails in the face of self-guilt (orginal sin, all deserve hell thing) and fear (which is a natural instinct they play on).

      May 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    I'm a J.K. Rowling scholar, but I don't try to convince people it really happened.

    May 20, 2014 at 9:07 am |
    • igaftr

      But all those people watched Harry playing quidiche...so many witnesses, it MUST be true.
      Virtually everyone at Hogwarts saw it. All those eye witnesses can't all be lying.

      May 20, 2014 at 9:10 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        It's all on DVD in case you need proof.

        May 20, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          we should start putting Harry Potter DVDs in the drawers of hotel bedside tables.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:22 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        ...and a copy of the hobbit.

        May 20, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Make that the Silmarrillion. It contains the creation story.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:12 am |
  8. Sheik Yerbouti

    I am a Tolkien scholar, but I don't try to convince people it really happened.

    May 20, 2014 at 8:50 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      That's because Tolkein wrote his stories as fiction.

      On the other hand, the unbroken chain of Biblical scholars goes all the way back to those men who wrote what they actually saw, and to them it was entrusted to pass on to the next generation that which they heard and saw.

      The Bible wasn't written because it was easy to believe, the Bible was written because it was intended to be a written witness of the truth to all future generations.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:54 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Hearsay, hearsay, hearsay.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          To you perhaps. But not to Polycarp.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Given that Polycarp was born decades after Christ's crucifiction, how could it be anything but hearsay to him?

          May 20, 2014 at 9:14 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doc, if your grandad served in WW2 and used to tell you about when he served, would you call that heresay, or an eye witness account? Such was Polycarp's experience. He was taught by those who were eyewitnesses.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Hearsay.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Legend has it that he was a student of John the Apostle – but legend also says that dude was fireproof, so one has to take those unsubstantiated claims with a grain of salt.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          Doubtlessly, many vets did not tell their grandchildren about the horrors of WWII, or about any shortcomings in their own bravery, correct? Do you suppose that the people who actually knew Jesus would contradict the spreading legend that the man was more than human?

          May 20, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • G to the T

          Polycarp was born around 69 CE, 36 years AFTER the death of JC. We don't have any of this actual writings,mostly just those that the biographer Irenaeus included in his works. Irenaeus considered him a link to the apostles, but what we have are Irenaeus' recollections of what Polycarp said about what he heard from John.

          This is the definition of Hearsay.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Alias

          Someone please enlighten me –
          I thought Polycarp was a pokemon.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        the bible was written as a tool to gain control and get wealth.

        It was written down by people decades or centuries after the stories were originally imagined, with no way of even knowing they happened, much less confirming even 1% accuracy.

        They were written down by men with everything to gain by making their god bigger and more potent than all the other people's gods.

        the fact that you believe it as real is an indication of your gullibility, not of the stories' authenticity!

        May 20, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Pull the other one!!!

          May 20, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • igaftr

        theo
        "men who wrote what they actually saw"

        You do not know they actually saw anything, or what they wrote actually happened or if it was made up. To be correct, you should say ALLEGEDLY saw, since your "unbroken chain" has many broken , missing and obscure, unverifiable links.
        If I wriite a story, and embellish it beyond reason, then convince people it is true, and for a thousand years people kept convincing people it is real, in a thousand years you will have an "unbroken chain" of people verifying that it is real, but it truly is not. That is the story of your bible. The wild supernatural claims are ridiculous writer embellishment..... one lies and YOU then swear to it.

        May 20, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Your lack of study on the matter is evident. Therefore don't speak like you know what you're talking about, because it is evident to all who have even a cursory understanding of textual criticism that you don't.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          And your complete lack of common sense is quite obvious to those who know what logic and reason are. You think that unverifiable claims are real because someone wrote it...someone who was extremely ignorant and superst!tious. There is no unbroken chain, there have been many scams, many of the books of the bible 's origins are quite dubiuos, and virtually NONE of the superbnatural claims have any evidence whatsoever to them.
          Go ahead and attack me, but there is NO chain that shows any of the original stories to be based in reality, and in many cases, the books of the bible have been manipulated countless times...but you just keep on believing in obvious BS.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo
          When you mean "lack of study" what you really mean is "failure to have heard of, or take my apologetics seriously", correct?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          no..he means to actually study...study ancient Jewish culture...ancient Jewish languages..their idioms and such....study the geography....it gives you the background and the context of the Bible...without it...you can make up any ole crap like the way I seen the atheists do in here

          May 20, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Actually Kermit....you make up more c-rap on here than just about any poster, then define it as 'context'. You wield that word like a sword, pretending its a cure-all for every misunderstood interpretation of the bible that anybody has

          May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit4jc – "...study ancient Jewish culture...ancient Jewish languages..their idioms and such...."

          I assume since you are advocating all this investigation and study as being required to understand your religion, you've also taken all the time necessary to do equivalent investigation and study of all the other religions in order to fully understand them?

          I'm assuming the answer to that question is no–after all, why would anyone bother putting all that effort into investigating and studying something that so obviously fails even simple tests of credibility... right?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          d you assume wrong.....I don't find the other ones interesting..and there is no way to study them all...I only got so much time..second...why keep looking for truth if you found it..I lose my keys....I find themn..do I keep looking/ seems a waste of time for me....I do study other religions more out of curiosity than finding truth (as I said I already found it) thus I don't go very deep into it

          May 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "...there is no way to study them all..."

          Agreed. So if someone is going to spend time and other resources studying any of them at all, there has to be a compelling reason to bother with one religion over the others.

          You seem to agree that all the other religions fail the tests of simple credibility, but where we disagree is that yours does, too.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          well..the point is..if one WANTS to understand the Bible better..one must study..rather than a cursory reading..which I find a lot of atheists/skeptics in here do....tbhus they make wrong assumptions about the Bible..and when I then try to show context...they cry "context! Apologetics! waste of time" as if context means nothing to their understanding of communication...

          May 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "if one WANTS to understand the Bible better..one must study"

          Fair enough. But I've always found it to be a very first-world elitist exclusionary view when people say the Bible MUST be PROPERLY studied in order for Christianity to be understood CORRECTLY (translation: understood their narrow way).

          May 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "why keep looking for truth if you found it"

          Yet that seems to be exactly what you are advocating those who don't believe in your religion should do. Why hold yourself to a different standard?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          How do you know it is the truth? How do you know Satan didn't inspire your book, and you are his willing patsy?

          To claim you know, shows you are delusional, since I know you have not been able to exclude ANY other possibility.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          since I know you have not been able to exclude ANY other possibility.-> oh..so youclaim to have known me all my life and whats in my mind and what I have done..i find that arrogant assumption to make...how do YOU know I have not been able to exclude all others?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          I think you're projecting your own problems here. I have studied these things too, but Theo appears to be pulling Jewish cultural "contexts" out of thin air. The actual context, language study and such do not support the traditional pious beliefs at all.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          traditional pious beliefs of today???

          May 21, 2014 at 1:57 am |
      • Doris

        "goes all the way back to those men who wrote what they actually saw"

        LOL. Noad and his son Gonad saw a puddle that was bigger than it usually was after a hard rain. Boy did that story get blown all out of proportion over time....

        May 20, 2014 at 9:12 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      perfect.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:54 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Polycarp was a gullible schmuck.

        May 20, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • G to the T

          To be fair it was Irenaeus' recollection of what Polycarp claimed to recollect about what the apostles are supposed to have said to him.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
  9. Sheik Yerbouti

    There are no facts to support the existence or activities of Jesus Christ. It is very simple. He probably did not exist but if he did, he, like all heroes, has been glorified to the point of absurdity. He is/was not a god. Just a man living his life like any other. Perhaps he was charismatic and had a talent for manipulating people, but that would be about it. The passage of time always changes and embellishes the facts and none more so than Jesus. This is all very obvious to your average skeptic, but to the Christian what I am saying will just be disregarded in favor of the god fantasy. Now add in Mohammed as a counterpoint to Jesus. Same nonsense, similar outcome. Do you believe Mohammed was something special? Lies and allegory. Same as Jesus. Christians, do your good deeds. Many of you are terrific people. But don’t look down on atheists for using common sense. We can’t help thinking straight any more than you can help being backwards.

    May 20, 2014 at 7:44 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      "There are no facts to support the existence or activities of Jesus Christ. It is very simple. He probably didn't exist."

      " But don't look down on atheists for using common sense. We can't help thinking straight..."

      Can you even begin to appreciate the irony in your usage of those 2 thoughts in your statement ? Probably not.

      The existence of Jesus Christ is uncontested by virtually every biblical scholar on the planet, regardless of where they fall on the liberal/conservative continuum.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:08 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        biblical scholar. Funny.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:11 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        It is difficult to understand how a person could waste their professional career as a "bible scholar". It is akin to being a unicorn scholar.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          But everyone knows that unicorns exist. What is the latin name for the Asian 1-horned Rhinoceros? Rhinoceros unicornis.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:17 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Oh Theo. Don't you feel embarrassed rolling out that little Christian escape clause? We all know how unicorns have been represented for thousands of years. A horse with a horn. Claiming now that it's a rhino is disingenuous or deluded.

          An if your bible is THAT wrong on this description, how expansively wrong is it on all the other things?!?!

          You taint and weaken your book every time you use the rhino answer.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Actually the explanation is in accordance with the Latin Vulgate. Your belief of the matter is irrelevant.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Late 4th century nonsense. So relevant.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          So what about the gargantuan, fire breathing sea creature with an impenetrable double hide, tight scales on its back like shields and tightly joined, immovable flesh from Job 41?

          Or the 4 faced, 4 winged, cloven hooved, eyeball covered Cherubim that travel in clouds of fire and lightning from Ezekiel 1?

          May 20, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo
          If unicorns are really rhinos, isn't that really testament to the human predilection towards letting our imaginations create fanciful things out of the natural? Some traveller sees a rhino and tries to describe it to someone else as "Big, like a horse, but with a horn growing out of it's forehead" and the other guy can only imagine what we think of as a unicorn?

          That doesn't help your case for the miracle stories being true, now does it? Something very ordinary could have happened only to get twisted into something almost unrecognizable through the retelling.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          The name means one-horned. If you are going to pretend that a hippo is therefore the same as a unicorn, then you should pretend that all bipeds are the same.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Go figure that biblical scholars would support the main man of their book! That's rather circular and thus fails. Care to show other scholar's who are not biblical who support the existence. Even if jesus existed, he would have been nothing more than a mere man...nothing special about him-no resurrection (only a fool believes that anyone comes back from the dead after 3 days); not born of a virgin; no miracles performed and considering nothing was written about him until 30-40 years after he supposedly died, the stories can't be held as being valid.
        You're very biased in your views and do not use common sense or logic when debating...you use circular reasoning and anything you think will justify your belief. Time to take the blinders off and actually start living the only life you will ever be guaranteed of, otherwise you're simply wasting valuable oxygen and time.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:15 am |
        • kudlak

          Especially, if they start off with the assumption that the Bible is 100% truthful. That would be like a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist trying to work as an actual historian on that president. Presumption should never be allowed to cloud the truth.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        Well, it's safe to say I'm not dealing with rocket scientists here, so I'll go slow, and make it short and sweet.

        "Biblical scholar" does not imply "christian" or even "theist". Many are not. I am referring to those individuals who have taken the study of the biblical literature to its highest academic place. Capish?

        May 20, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • igaftr

          Yes devin, and the existance of Frodo is uncontested by every Silmarillian scholar on the planet.
          See how meaningless your statement truly is?

          May 20, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes it does...and it is still circular reasoning-you can't use the bible to defend the bible stories!! Spin it any way you wish but you're still wrong. Suffering from delusions of grandeur does nothing to prove your point and only shows how truly ignorant and uneducated you are! You need to watch some COSMOS and educate yourself. Remove the blinders devy, this is the 21st century-not the first-time for you to catch up.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          The unbroken chain of Biblical scholars goes all the way back to those who were eye witnesses to the majesty and wonder of God, and His actions here on earth.

          The unbroken chain of Hobbit scholars goes all the way back to Tolkein who wrote it as fiction.

          BIG difference there chum.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • samsstones

          Theo
          Yet another absurd statement from you. The study of fiction goes back to the earliest days when mankind first began to read and write. The unbroken chain of (enter which ever religious tome you choose) scholars goes all the way back to (dubious) eye witnesses to the majesty and wonder of (insert whichever god at this point), and its (supposed) actions here on earth.
          Time to tell us again why you know the only "truth" that applies to all of mankind you pompous ass, and why your god is the only one that exists? Sheer arrogance. Waiting for you to replicate a miracle or two to prove that the supernatural is possible, still unable to do so I assume.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Theo

          Last century, L Ron Hubbard wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has millions of followers.

          200 years ago, Joseph Smith wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has tens of millions of followers.

          A few thousand years ago, unnamed desert dwelling goat herders wrote a book, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and they have hundreds of millions of followers.

          Do you see that the only thing that makes your christian religion more popular than any other of these obvious scams is the amount of time it has had for your deluded cult members to breed and indoctrinate their children.

          So have a good think about how preposterous scientology and mormonism sound to you, and know that christianity is just the same thing with a bigger head start.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          And many of the characters in the Hobbit series, little folk, elves, wizards, dragons, giants, and so forth, are every bit as ancient as the type of characters found in the Bible, correct? Tolkein was trying, like his friend Lewis, to write fiction as allegory for scripture. Isn't that similar to the idea that NT writers wrote stories of Jesus alluding to the Jewish scriptures?

          May 20, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Tolkien was most insistent that his works were not allegorical.

          They are a deliberate homage to mythology with a scriptural tone and contain many archetypes of myth/scripture and naturally illustrate Tolkien's own beliefs, but they are not deliberately allegorical.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • kudlak

          GOPer
          Thanks for ... ah... clearing that up.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • kudlak

        ddeevviinn
        "The existence of Jesus Christ is uncontested by virtually every biblical scholar on the planet"
        Actually, that's not exactly correct. Where the majority of scholars would agree that there most likely was a historical Jesus, few would argue that he was any kind of actual god, as the name "Christ" most commonly denotes. It may be difficult for most Christians to appreciate, but arguing for a historical Jesus does not automatically mean an argument for his divinity. One only needs to regard how history treats the Roman Emperors, some of whom were also regarded as gods by the people of their time.

        This is pretty much on the same level as with the majority of historians who would agree that Davy Crockett was an actual politician, but only a few stary-eyed, fringe romantics would still argue that he was also "The King of the Wild Frontier", who killed bears as a child. Those stories began to be published when Crockett was still alive, so don't even try to argue that it takes a lot of time for legends to develop. People could have easily been exaggerating the deeds of a historical Jesus before he even died.

        May 20, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "The existence of Jesus Christ is uncontested by virtually every biblical scholar on the planet"

        I can name 3, so it is not a virtual as you would imply.

        May 20, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • snuffleupagus

        viiiinny, biblical scholars have a dog in that fight. They think like you. They are mostly apologists, and have no real bone to chew on as what they have is nothing more than myth. They try though. They really do, Still, it's all a myth. Fail.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      So the Christian rebuttal to my post is:

      1. Biblical scholars dedicated to fiction
      2. Rhinoceros

      May 20, 2014 at 8:21 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Look, you can get this book for free for your reader and I think it'll help you out a bit – "Can I Trust the Bible" by R.C. Sproul

        It would be hard to give a synopsis here for the sake of brevity. Hey, some things just require study.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          You can't trust the bible for obvious reasons. It is filled with magic which doesn't exist.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Theo: You are an ignorant, uneducated bigot-no-one in the correct mind would take you seriously...especially not when you think slavery is okay. You're a bigger waste of oxygen than devin is and much like him, you're in need of medication for the delusions you suffer. People like you need to be removed from society and should not be left unsupervised-a true disgrace to the 21st century and how far we have come since man first invented the Christian god.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:29 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Miracles were not doc.umented in the Bible because they were easy to believe. Which reminds me, here's another good book: "Hard to Believe" by John Macarthur.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • samsstones

          TP1
          Have to totally agree, both are..
          Blindly ignorant out of fear.
          Blindly ignorant out of sheer arrogance.
          Blindly declare they are right and all others are wrong by default without providing any logical evidence or proof to back up their assertions.
          Now Theo with his Philioidiotism is way ahead of devin on the delusional tree but devin is catching up fast.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo Phileo
          Miracles are very easy to believe, for some. Even now, thousands of people believe in miracles happening every day. John of God and Peter Popoff have huge followings who consider them miracle-workers. Millions of people every year lose their life savings to investment advisors with the reputation of being financial miracle workers. Anyone who happens to have an above-average outcome in an accident, or medical scare is likely to claim a personal miracle. Face it, many people are just gullible enough to believe all sorts of outrageous things without evidence. Why would it possibly be any different back then?

          May 20, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo
          How about this example? 25 years after the emperor Vespasian died, Tacitus reported a famous incident where he is said to have miraculously healed two men – one blind and one lame. Since this is coming from an actual historian, and not a devoted follower of a religious guru, it must be even more likely to be factual than the gospels, right?

          May 20, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Robert Charles Sproul (born February 13, 1939) is an American Calvinist theologian, author, and pastor.

          You mean THIS guy argued that we can trust the BIBLE!!!!???

          WOW!! He really went out on a limb with that Thesis.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Neither are educated men. Theo supports slavery, thus not making him or anything he spews worthy of being noted. Both seem to have their heads stuck in the 1st century and those blinders they wear are huge. They truly depict the meaning of the phrase 'willful ignorance'. Both these men are delusional and in need of rubber rooms and heavy medication.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:25 am |
      • snuffleupagus

        Sheik, please do not leave out the crocoduck.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The existence of a "historical" Jesus is pretty well established.
      In all likelihood, there was a radical rabbi who railed against the officious Jewish priesthoods and who sought to bring Abraham's God to the gentiles.
      Just as there was most likely an ancient Babylonian king named Gilgamesh who built a great wall around the city of Uruk.

      That doesn't mean that the supernatural aspects of their respective legends are historically accurate.
      Neither were gods. They didn't make any trips to the underworld. Nobody died and came back.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:31 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        Which was my point.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:41 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          It is just as likely that Jesus was and amalgam of rabbis following the same path.

          May 20, 2014 at 9:10 am |
  10. colin31714

    Kermit – Neither Matthew nor John are eyewitness accounts. They don't even purport to be. Matthew was written in about 80 AD and John about 95 AD. The disciples called Matthew and John would likely have been long dead. More fundamentally, the gospels were written in Greek, whereas the disciples spoke Aramaic and were illiterate, unschooled men. Neither gospel uses the expression "I "or "me" when referring to Matthew or John and, indeed, refer to them entirely in the third person.

    No Kermit, to the extent you feel that the Gospels being written by disciples gives them any greater credibility concerning Jesus' alleged supernatural acts, you will have to be disappointed. Neither was an eyewitness (and nor were the authors of Luke or Mark, BTW).

    May 20, 2014 at 7:24 am |
    • believerfred

      ERROR ERROR Mark was written 55-65 AD, Luke 60-63AD, Matthew 60-69AD

      May 20, 2014 at 11:23 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @fred,

        I don't think there are any definitive answers. I'm sure that this site (also referenced down the page)

        http://earlychristianwritings.com/index.html

        Is convinced of their own scholarship too.

        May 20, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • believerfred

          Trash that site. One quick look at James where your site claims 70-100AD as possible range is impossible. James died in A.D. 61 at the order of Ananus the high priest (Josephus, Ant. 20. 9). You don't believe Jesus rose from the dead why would you believe James did?
          I did not bother to look any further.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Fred,

          I don't care to defend the specifics of that site, it was posted down this page by @reality, but don't forget there is a difference between attribution and authorship in most of these early writings.

          There's nothing to say that "James" wasn't written later by someone who claimed to have heard the story directly from James.

          My primary point is that dating the first writings is a very inexact process despite the immense volume of scholarship that has been applied.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • kermit4jc

      first of all..yuo need to update your info...the Gospels werwe written BEForze 65 AD and there is ample evidence....for example..HOW do the first churc hfathers quote from things tha tdont exist yet? hmmm..very interesting....plus...WHO says there is a law against writing in the third person? you?

      May 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
  11. kermit4jc

    so Matthew and John are not first hand? IM sure you will say they cannot prove the authors....however..we can be extremely certain of the authors..as the students of the authors attributed the Gospels to them....thus Matthew and John are first hand

    May 20, 2014 at 1:53 am |
    • ssq41

      kermy, of course, uses the William Lane Craig Dictionary for the term "first hand."

      kermsicle...now you have to provide evidence of these so-called students.

      kermy! Why do you need to complicate your life so?!

      May 20, 2014 at 1:59 am |
      • kermit4jc

        OMG you are so ignorant...I did not complicate it for me..just for you since you are obviously ignorant of the history of the first church fathers.....Irenaaeus, Papias to name a few....and I never even knew of Craig Lanes verison...so stuff it

        May 20, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • ssq41

          "Stuff it"???!!!! KERMY...why so militant?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • ssq41

          kermsy...remind yourself of the time that irenaeus was born and died.

          Now, go find a kermy dictionary and discover what the term "first hand" means.

          Then, try and pretzel your way into how these dudes could have produced "first hand" accounts from accounts of accounts of accounts.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • kermit4jc

          HELLO..I KNOW when he was born and died..I did nOT say Ireneaus was first hand account..reread my post again

          May 20, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and while youre at it..maybe you need to get a dictionary so you can read my post again and get it right....

          May 20, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • ssq41

          Then, kerms, learn a little bit about how literature in ancient times would be attributed to someone who actually didn't write the text their name is listed on.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I have.....maybe you need to do so....

          May 20, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • ssq41

          kermy, can I get a dictionary with your posts on amazon?

          I know what you wrote, silly...just making sure you understand that you don't understand what "first hand" means.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I said first hand means those who were present..Matthew and John

          May 20, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • ssq41

          If you "had" kermy, you wouldn't have made such a silly and glaring error. Matthew and John and Mark wrote nothing. Sorry.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • kermit4jc

          did I mention Mark? and I gave some evidence to show that Matthew and John wrote theirs....

          May 20, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • ssq41

          You KINDA said that in the first post, kermy and now you've clarified it.

          Your English teacher must have gone through boxes and boxes of red pens. Your sentence structure is atrocious.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • ssq41

          No, kermy....you didn't mention Mark...

          I, however, did.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:22 am |
      • ssq41

        And always remember, kermy...students and their opinions are poor sources of "evidence."

        But when you come from a worldview that proudly claims: "God said, I believe it, and that settles it!" well, you can be forgiven for thinking that Irenaeus's opinion is fact.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • kermit4jc

          got to prove it was an opinion....second generation student from direct line of John? cmome on..give me a break.....these people are not idiots like you want to make them out to be....

          May 20, 2014 at 2:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          ssq: Arguing with kermi when he claims to have studied Gullibles Travels for 25 years is like arguing with a 5 year old who claims there's a monster under their bed. Kermi fails to comprehend what 'first hand' is and that the authors of the gospels are not known and further to that, that nothing was written about jesus until 30-40 years after he apparently died-making any account of this supposed man highly unreliable. Kermi has blinders on and no amount of evidence to the contrary will ever convince him he is wrong-his arrogance and willful ignorance will always trump everyone. If you try to prove him wrong, he throws a temper tantrum and gets very angry...once again showing he hasn't grown up.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:43 am |
        • ssq41

          Mornin' truth,

          That's a great analogy of the 5 y.o.! Made me laugh and it fits the kermsicle well.

          I hate to admit it but I was just like him and the others on here when I was immersed in my relationship with Jesus. For me, and I see the same in him, a little bit of apologetical knowledge helps to scare those monsters out from under the bed and thus he thinks he is safe from all evidence that dismisses his worldview.

          Sadly for him, the monsters are in the closet and he dare not open it for his tenuous faith would most likely disintegrate.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          My God you guys are stupid...I know what first hand account means...I never in ANYWAY said it any diffreerently..you are stupid to not read what I wrote..you do to my posts like you do to the Bible..read Parts of it and make things up...stop making the crap of 5 year old stuff and debate..if allyou wanna do is mock and NOT have a conversation..then I will no lonoger reply to any of your posts....and don't address me either then....

          May 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          plus u are arrogant..apparently You do not like reasoning things out..yuo want things black and white...let it do the figuring out for you so you don't have to use youir brain eh? apologetics is not a bad thing...its reasoning..its getting knowledge..apparently you don't like that either

          May 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Matthew and John are not the author's of those gospels, nor is Mark. The original writers are not known and thus, those gospels can't be accepted as anything more than stories passed around and most people know that stories that get around usually end up being embellished and are highly unreliable.

      May 20, 2014 at 4:59 am |
    • hotairace

      So, in summary, no actual first hand accounts therefore anything attributed to some dead desert dweller called jesus is suspect. My previous comment stands – an honest christian would preamble any claims about jesus with "allegedly."

      Now let's see how many honest christians there are here. My guess is zero.

      May 20, 2014 at 6:53 am |
    • Reality

      Father Raymond Brown's epic book, An Introduction to the New Testament, has an excellent review of the authors of the New Testament. Said book has the approval of the RCC.

      The following reference is also essential reading for those who are interested in the historic Jesus:

      Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/

      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and a review of each docu-ment by clicking on the name of said writing:

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      May 20, 2014 at 7:22 am |
  12. aallen333

    How can a thing unintelligent formed become a master of formed intelligence, since a thing can produce only after its own kind. Unless what we consider intelligence is only intelligence in our own minds. If we are only the product of chance and consequence, we are the most arrogant of creatures if we think any thing we think, say or write is of any consequence (including posts shown on this site). If a thing can produce only after its own kind and we are not the product of intelligence, then everything we produce is meaningless babble and inconsequential. This is what atheism proposes and I will have nothing to do with it!

    May 19, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • tallulah131

      We are the product of millions of years of survival. To believe otherwise, to believe that we are the special children of an unsubstantiated supreme being, is beyond arrogant.

      May 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Atheism proposes nothing; atheism is simply a lack of belief in any gods.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
    • aallen333

      If an atheist claims there is no evidence of intelligent design, what should I make of his comments. By his own admission he has encouraged me to dismiss his comments since there is no intelligence behind it.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Oh Al. The words that you use in an effort to seem wise just make you look like a fool.

        May 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • aallen333

          Have you heard the saying 'if you say something enough eventually people will believe it'. Have you considered the possibility that you have told yourself so many times that there is no God that you have actually brainwashed yourself into your atheism. Any intelligent person knows atheism is illogical.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Any intelligent person stays away from ad hominem arguments and fallacious positions...so that rules you out.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • ssq41

          33,

          1.) Do a quick re-read of your post.

          2.) Apply to your personal theology.

          3.) Thank tallulah131 for her obvious wisdom.

          4.) Thank cheese for trying to save you from your ignorance.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • observer

          aallen333

          "Any intelligent person knows atheism is illogical."

          Any intelligent person knows that much of the Bible is illogical from the science fiction of Noah's Ark to the claim that the moon and sun suddenly stopped in their orbit.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:12 am |
        • sam stone

          it's theism that is illogical, d-bag

          May 20, 2014 at 5:45 am |
        • fintronics

          Yes, "brainwashed" by a lack of evidence... what a moron.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Akira

        Well, of course you would be able to provide the concrete evidence. Right ? Because it would appear that failure to do so would result in the same dismissal of your posts as having no intelligence behind it.

        May 19, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • aallen333

          Aahh, I see. You have no problem giving godlike qualities to whatever fits your narrative. But when it comes to obvious evidence of God's handiwork (including your existence) you dismiss it as impossible because to even open the door to its possibility also opens the door to a realm you have chosen to close yourself off to.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You are the one who looks at natural phenomena and claims it's "god-like". You are no different than the ancient Greek who saw lightning and knew in his heart that Zeus was responsible for it. Ignorance creates gods. Education kills them.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • Doris

          "godlike qualities"? LOL.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • ssq41

          Oh, 33...you do yourself a disservice by using "obvious" in any sentence.

          There is no obvious evidence.

          And you miss the whole point as to the dishonesty of your God for refusing to be blatantly present...and using such obviously poor and pathetic examples of his handi-work in the daily lives lived by his followers.

          (Note my use of obvious).

          May 19, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • Akira

          I doubt you do see.

          I have no narrative; I was commenting on your narrative.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          As an atheist I do not "dismiss" God "as impossible". I simply ask for proof of any God or god or anything supernatural and so far not a single believer has been able to provide even the tiniest smidge of evidence.

          Believers then had to invent a reason they couldn't find any examples of anything supernatural so they came up with some very poor reasoning about a God wanting its creations to have "free will" which apparently would be impossible if he came right out and told us we were his creations. Of course, by that logic then I guess Satan had no free will and is only doing exactly what his God demanded of him.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • ssq41

        And, 33, tallulah13 is correct.

        You are unusually academic tonight.

        If you really want to enhance your vocabulary, read Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek."

        Take a dictionary.

        May 19, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
      • igaftr

        allen
        "If an atheist claims there is no evidence of intelligent design, what should I make of his comments."

        You should be able to make out the truth. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere of any design at all. None. What should be made of your comment seemingly so shocked by the FACTS, is that you are likely one of the brainwashed religious people who see god in everything, where everything does not show any gods at all. Forgive us for not falling for a complete and total lack of any evidence at all, as evidence of some creating intelligent force.

        May 20, 2014 at 8:31 am |
    • MidwestKen

      "...a thing can produce only after its own kind. "

      evolution is change and can produce new functionality. There is no need to invent other causes for what can be already be explained.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Arrogance is thinking you (and your kind) are the end pupose and reason for the universes existence.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
      • believerfred

        arrogance is to think for a moment that you are greater than Jesus

        May 20, 2014 at 12:48 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          He wasn't that great.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • ssq41

          No one's greater than a myth, fred.

          How cool it would it be to be Gandalf (a nod to tallutlah131).

          May 20, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • ssq41

          ...damn stutter....lol

          May 20, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • believerfred

          Blessed
          ssq41
          Relative greatness is not the issue. The impact of Jesus is global regardless of other faiths as the world remains dominated to this day by "Western World View" which is out of the teachings of Christ. America led only by Presidents who are or pretend to be Christian with the vast majority of its citizens claiming Christianity remains the worlds Super Power. A country founded with a prayer to the supreme Judge of the World with citizenry endowed by the creator is only now beginning to crumble under the weight of relativism of truth.
          Yes, you are arrogant if you believe you are greater than Christ. Believers are not arrogant or at least should not be as humility is virtue according to the one you have risen above.
          Arrogance to mock the man and the words which if only followed would result in the most wonderful society ever known regardless if Christ rose on the 3rd day or not.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " . Believers are not arrogant..."
          Most unintentionally funny post of the day.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          "endowed by the creator" apparently INTENTIONALLY did not mention "God". It was generic to respect that there are MANY beliefs that it might or might not apply to. Key great forefathers liked Thomas Jefferson were NOT CHRISTIANS.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • believerfred

          Observer
          Yes, and Obama claimed to be Christian in order to be elected. In 200 years I wonder what Wiki will claim he really was.
          The unanimous signatories of the Declaration needed unity and any attempt to define God would have been a failure.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          That being the case your statement should have read..

          "Arrogance is thinking you are greater than the BELIEF in Jesus."

          And then you would be right....but I never said such...and your diatribe is a bit of a red-herring and off topic.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Jesus had first hand knowledge of the kingdom of God and came to show the way. Would you not be arrogant to claim you knew a better way? Belief in Jesus or the way (the way is the key as Christ has varied imagery) can be wrong many times and in many "believers" some of which you may indeed be closer to "the way" than they are.
          When it comes to the non physical (stuff science can measure and falsify) there were many thinkers over the years but none like Jesus with the effect on the world as Jesus had. That effect was a way of life which is our reality.
          It is possible, given God is revealed through creation (man included), that we are the image of God as the Bible says yet in terms of the "God" (God of theology absent all anthropomorphic association) of Spinoza. If we happen to express self much in the same manner as Jesus did that image would be the key to the kingdom as we would present the actions and attitudes necessary for the kingdom. Either way we can see a difference between one who is opposite of what Jesus represented and one who is closer to that model. A belief or the reality of behavior in that way does produce the ideal world now. If it turns out the kingdom described is as stated then it is a win win situation.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          **Jesus had first hand knowledge of the kingdom of God and came to show the way.**

          Yes, that is the claim, can you objectively substantiate that you are correct? No…all you have is dogma. Not impressed

          **Would you not be arrogant to claim you knew a better way?**

          I don’t claim knowledge that I can’t substantiate, you do.

          **When it comes to the non physical (stuff science can measure and falsify) there were many thinkers over the years but none like Jesus with the effect on the world as Jesus had. That effect was a way of life which is our reality.**

          Example?

          **Either way we can see a difference between one who is opposite of what Jesus represented and one who is closer to that model.**

          I don’t find Jesus to be as wonderful as you do. He is claimed to have said some decent things, but philosophically he imparted nothing that humanity had not already expressed. I expect more from the (claimed) creator.

          **A belief or the reality of behavior in that way does produce the ideal world now.**

          No, it really doesn’t, but that is what you have to believe.

          **If it turns out the kingdom described is as stated then it is a win win situation.**

          Pascal’s wager…not impressed.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "Yes, that is the claim, can you objectively substantiate that you are correct?"
          =>20,000 some odd manuscripts account for claim going back to within 20 years of Christ. The claim was made and noted prior to all the conspiracy theory of a falsehood being propagated after A.D. 70 and in particular after A.D. 170. What docu.mentation do you have of the claim being rejected between A.D. 40 – A.D. 170?

          I assume you want objective substantiation concerning the kingdom of God is as Jesus said. You yourself are the substantiation that Jesus words are truth. Tell me you are not proof of the veracity of His words considering:"And he said unto them,.... His disciples; unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; or the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, the secrets of the Gospel dispensation, the mysterious doctrines of grace but unto them that are without; "to strangers", as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it, who were not the disciples of Christ, nor admitted to any intimacy with him; who came only to amuse themselves with the sight of his person and miracles
          =>So you are living proof that Jesus words are true. If there was proof that satisfied you Jesus would be a liar. Your very non belief is my evidence.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "I don’t claim knowledge that I can’t substantiate, you do."
          =>really, you claim nothing exists that you cannot substantiate.

          **When it comes to the non physical (stuff science can measure and falsify) there were many thinkers over the years but none like Jesus with the effect on the world as Jesus had. That effect was a way of life which is our reality.**
          Example?
          =>you have heard an eye for eye a tooth for tooth but I say love your enemy. The watered down version is what we see with tolerance today.
          =>neither do I condemn you now go and sin no more. Restoration, rehabilitation over condemnation and marginalization
          =>When you feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit those in prison or hospitals, do this for the least of those among you. Believers and non believers claim to excel at this today.
          =>"if your earthly father knows you needs how much more then for you Father in Heaven. Not a calamity passes where believers and non believers ask where was God.
          =>Death has lost its sting. Very few funerals or memorials pass without expression of who was Cheesmaker, where is Cheesmaker and why God why Cheesmaker........
          =>seek first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be given to you. Those who fully conduct lives in "the way" receive the gift. They are born again. To this I can give you my testimony and hundreds of million others.
          =>who do you say I am? All those who hear the name of Jesus are driven to answer that question to this very day.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          blessed is the maker
          "I expect more from the (claimed) creator."
          =>I can't see, are you stomping your feet up and down?

          "No, it really doesn’t (create ideal world) but that is what you have to believe.
          =>really, exactly what did Jesus say that brings about a worse condition for humanity?

          "**If it turns out the kingdom described is as stated then it is a win win situation.**Pascal’s wager"
          =>no, not Pascal's I say live life as Jesus prescribed and it will be well for you and your family. Even if you live in IRAN live out the principles of Jesus, be in "the way". By this I mean be intentional (Oprah ism) in goodness. Even Paul mentioned this as there are no laws against loving your neighbor.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          Manuscripts ARE the claim, they are not proof of the claim.

          And no I am not stomping my feet, I don't believe the claim. Jesus is not that wonderful. And a god should be able to do better. It is rather pathetic actually.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • believerfred

        Blessed are the Cheesemakers
        You have it backwards as absent God we have only mankind which puts man at the top of his own self created tower of Babble. Could it be that atheism is symptomatic of the inability to assimilate physical and spiritual realities. Do you claim only matter with identifiable physical properties exist in our world?

        May 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          Atheism is symptomatic of the inability to find ANY PROOF of spiritual realities.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • fintronics

          Reality = "The state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined."

          May 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • believerfred

          flintronics
          Correct and things as they appear have a physical and non physical element. Mankind is driven by both and that is reality. Atheists without evidence think a world driven by physical desire alone leads to a better world. Sorry it has never happened so that would be an experiment using live subjects. Sounds like godless is good catch phrase for it

          May 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          If you claim to be a personal friend of the creator of the universe, a claim that you canin no way substantiate...I would and do call that arrogance.

          And atheism does not put humanity as the pinacle of the universe...that would be Christianity....another straw man mowed down eh fred?

          May 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • fintronics

          @Fred..... Atheists without evidence for god = believers without evidence for god.

          Either way, no evidence for god.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • fintronics

          "Correct and things as they appear have a physical and non physical element. "

          Imagined is the key word there Freddie boy..

          May 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          A personal relationship with God is not arrogance unless one does not understand God. A relationship with God produces a humble heart that understands why without Christ we could not approach such burning holiness. Adam and Eve did not realize what they were because they were in the presence of God (just as believers are "in Christ") and felt only what was pure and right. Once they broke away they discovered they were stinky hairy beasts with bad breath. They were not prepared for the physical reality of the human condition yet alone the spiritual condition without God.
          Although we may not appear so much the Neanderthal these days we remain aware of imperfections which before God are many, thus Paul said we are like filthy rags. Now, where is the arrogance in that

          May 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred....Adam and Eve? You've lost any credibility you may have had.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          **A personal relationship with God is not arrogance unless one does not understand God**

          So let me get this straight....if you claim to UNDERSTAND the creator of the entire unverse...and claim he/she/it is in a personal relationship with you....that is NOT arrogant. Umm...ok. Suffice it to say fred, I could not disagree with you more. I think that is the epitomy of arrogance...wow...

          May 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Not hardly, I am squat. The Holy Spirit takes my prayer and other communications then puts it right before God. I do not know the mind of God or the ways of God. All I know is what has been revealed. I am humble under even that which has been revealed yet alone God. Even Moses was hidden behind a rock otherwise he would have been consumed by the glory of God.
          You are one who thinks to little of God. I fear God in a good way, I fear the burning holiness of God as exemplified by Isaiah. My relationship is personal only to the extent I can visualize it. This is a problem with those experiencing a poor father image or poor image of God from others.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Oh.... so do you or do you not understand god?

          May 20, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
    • hotairace

      Where's the logic in believing in something for which there is no actual evidence to support the claim? A logical person would remain skeptical until some evidence was provided. Oops! That would make you an atheist!

      May 20, 2014 at 12:34 am |
      • believerfred

        Please explain to me how "I don't know my purpose for existence" demonstrates greater logic than following the master?
        Jesus has never been wrong and remains to this day the most influential person known to mankind..............Jesus said this is your purpose.

        May 20, 2014 at 12:46 am |
        • ssq41

          Oh, fred...."purpose"...really?

          You spend too much time reading your "How to Answer an Atheist" apology books and obviously never spent any time with a real atheist. You'd learn alot instead of being such a spiritual racist. They have plenty of "purpose" and "meaning" without the added nonsense of an immature "master."

          "Jesus has never been wrong..." LoL! That was a good one, fred. Thanks.

          "Jesus is the most influential person...." LoL again, fred!

          Ummmm, you might want to poll those silly East and Central Asians.

          Start from the day of Jesus' death.

          Your arrogance (and all of Christendom's) seem to forget that there is half a world that doesn't think like you do.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:20 am |
        • fintronics

          "Your arrogance (and all of Christendom's) seem to forget that there is half a world that doesn't think like you do."

          And they're all going to burn in HEII !!!!! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

          May 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • James XCIX

          fred – "...and remains to this day the most influential person known to mankind"

          I would say that Paul's ideas, not Jesus's, are the ones most frequently referred to by Christians, who seem to have forgotten a lot of what Jesus had to say (and didn't have to say).

          May 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • believerfred

          ssq41
          "obviously never spent any time with a real atheist."
          =>That depends on how you define atheist. Militant atheists are like fundamentalist Christians neither is real or can hear truth. I don't know how real you are.

          "You'd learn alot instead of being such a spiritual racist."
          =>likewise you should be curious as to why you lack any sense of existence outside of what you see.

          "They have plenty of "purpose" and "meaning" without the added nonsense of an immature "master.""
          =>Then why do they believe this is all there is with hesitation?

          "Jesus has never been wrong..." LoL! That was a good one, fred. Thanks.
          =>well give me one example of Jesus being wrong without a copy paste from your atheist playbook

          "Jesus is the most influential person...." LoL again, fred!
          =>Give me one who was greater

          Ummmm, you might want to poll those silly East and Central Asians.
          =>ok, they have heard and want to know more.

          Start from the day of Jesus' death.
          =>yes, two criminals on the cross next to Jesus and one gets to paradise with him.

          Your arrogance (and all of Christendom's) seem to forget that there is half a world that doesn't think like you do.
          =>You were not born in half the world and your argument is not with other gods but with God. That should be self evident.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • dandintac

      How can a thing unintelligent formed become a master of formed intelligence, since a thing can produce only after its own kind. Unless what we consider intelligence is only intelligence in our own minds. If we are only the product of chance and consequence, we are the most arrogant of creatures if we think any thing we think, say or write is of any consequence (including posts shown on this site). If a thing can produce only after its own kind and we are not the product of intelligence, then everything we produce is meaningless babble and inconsequential. This is what atheism proposes and I will have nothing to do with it!

      Allen, one of the many errors you make is assuming that intelligence is a black or white characteristic–one either has it, or does not. In reality, intelligence is a continuum, from organisms with a small bundle of nerves, to far more complex organisms, such as primates and cetaceans. You have also shrouded intelligence with a mystique–turning it into a magical and mysterious object. In truth, it is a characteristic which may fascinate us, since we have a lot of it, but it is one of many survival characteristics that organisms have more or less of–such as strength, powerful senses, venom, camouflage, fast reflexes and so on. I cannot see the logic whereby you assume that by labeling one particular characteristic "intelligence"–we thereby bar any consideration of it becoming greater or lesser in various organisms over a great period of time.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Sorry ally, Atheism proposes nothing. It is a word that simply means a disbelief in a god or gods, nothing more.
      As Stephen Roberts stated “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      May 20, 2014 at 5:57 am |
  13. realbuckyball

    "it ( the argument from design) is the primary reason the majority of human beings on this planet are theists."

    -They have no other explanation, so they say "god done it". That's "god of the gaps". It's also the argumentum ad populum.
    "Arguments" prove nothing. The universe has been proven to be non-intuitive. Relativity, Uncertainty, the tensors of Dirac are not "logical". Evidence proves things to be true. There is none for any deity. So sad. Too bad. You lose.

    May 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      What is really sad is that you are lost. The good news is that God is able to save. When you learn of your need, call on him.

      May 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Aw, Robert. What is really sad is that adults still embrace 2000 year old mythology. You are the lost one.

        May 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @Robert Brown,
        What makes you think that you are any less lost than anyone else?

        May 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
      • fintronics

        So your imagination is able to save you from your imagination..... good stuff!

        May 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    think it's bad to go to a religious country and tell them you practice a different religion? try telling them you're an atheist.

    May 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
    • Salero21

      The hypocrisy of atheists is extreme and their lying is Compulsive and pathological.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        So you keep saying. Yet never provide any evidence. Are you suffering from dementia ?
        The moon is made of green cheese.

        May 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        Solero is exactly the kind of religious nutjob non-believers should be cautious of.

        May 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
  15. ddeevviinn

    Picking up on a previous thought:

    It is not dissimilar to the saga of the three little pigs. You remember the story, the third little pig builds his house out of brick, and try as he may, the BIG BAD WOLF is unable to blow his house down.

    Kant gave it the old college try, Dawkins simply regurgitates arguments from his predecessors, Hume, well he just about peed his pants in his boisterous attempt of refutation, but in the end, as with the BIG BAD WOLF, it was to no avail. The teleological argument is irrefutable. And for those still having difficulties comprehending a very simple premise, it ( the argument from design) is the primary reason the majority of human beings on this planet are theists.

    May 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
    • hotairace

      You keep repeating the same sh!t so I must repeat too.

      Most people are not atheists because they have been brainwashed, indoctrinated from birth, with society reinforcing childish beliefs. They're not actually thinking about what they believe and probably are not even aware of lofty (but bullsh!t) arguments such as what you are trying to push.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
    • samsstones

      dev
      Does your ID belief include the whole universe and all the other life forms that will soon be discovered in the rest of the universe? How does that square with your 2000 year old book of silly?

      May 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Hey Sam,

        Are you a fan of Ancient Aliens?

        May 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • ssq41

          This would be Robert's strongest attempt at an insult.

          There, there, Robert. You used to be so nice, months ago on the blog. Sad to see you so jaded.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          All Christians believe in the Ancient Alien theory.

          alien: not familiar or like other things you have known : different from what you are used to ; 2. differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility

          I think by any measure the angels, demons and Gods found in the bible would be considered "alien" to any human.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • bostontola

      devin,
      Even if the argument from design was irrefutable, it doesn't provide any evidence for Yahweh or Jesus.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        boston

        You are absolutely correct. I have never made that claim, and in fact, I have clearly stated previously that it is only an argument for a creator, not a specific religious persuasion.

        May 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm happy that we agree on that.

          In your system of thought, does a God that created laws of physics only, then was hands off for all time after that qualify for the argument from design?

          May 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • samsstones

          dev
          You sound more like a modern day deist with that statement, I encourage you to visit the deist website and look up the definition of deism. It may help you break free of the Christian delusion if you have been suckered into that belief.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • Doris

          sam: "You sound more like a modern day deist with that statement"

          He may with that one, but anyone who talks about being alienated from his creator because of sin doesn't sound like much of any kind of deist to me. I think dev just doesn't care to be the poster boy for the huge gap between a creative force of unknown characteristics and his beloved self-deprecation drug prescribed by ancient charlatans.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Doris

          You are correct. I am the furthest thing from a Deist.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          boston

          No, absolutely not.

          Don't equate my acknowledgement of the limited aspect of the teleological argument with that of an impersonal God. That is not my position.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "That is not my position."
          --------
          It is however, the argument you are making here.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          devin,
          I know that. I was asking if an impersonal Creator qualifies as a designer?

          May 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          boston

          My apologies, I initially misread your statement.

          Yes, that Deistic being you describe would "qualify".

          May 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          devin,
          I'm glad to hear that. We could have a heck of a conversation on this.

          Did something create/design the universe (where universe would include all multiverses if they exist)?
          If so, is that something sentient?
          If so, is it omniscient?
          If so, is it omnipotent?
          If so, does it relate to other life?
          Etc., etc. for many questions before we get to the Abrahamic God.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          boston

          "heck of conversation"

          Yes we could. Doubly so in that my strange mind is prone to going there as it is.

          May 19, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "The teleological argument is irrefutable."

      I don't know that it is irrefutable, but deistic ideas like Spinoza's God appealed to Einstein, who utterly rejected anthropomorphic Gods.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you're very simple premise is that the world was made by magic. you have zero evidence to back you up on your fairy tale belief that the universe was made by a deity/deities. you should apply Occam's razor to your god theory - he is an unnecessary part of the equation and should be cut out.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      @ddeevviinn,
      Don't you have to show that a thing is designed in order for the argument from design to be irrefutable?

      May 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • Vic

        Every system is a design, and every design has a designer and a builder/creator.

        An atom is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
        A living cell is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
        An organism is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
        A creature is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
        ...

        This universe—and everything in it—is a system, hence a design, hence, has a Designer and a Builder/Creator.

        May 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Meaningless tautology.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          'An atom is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
          A living cell is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
          An organism is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator.
          A creature is a system, hence a design, hence, has a designer and a builder/creator."

          +++ exactly wrong. a car has a designer. you are asserting atoms have a design/designer, but show zero proof of that. your assertions are opinions, not fact.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Vic,
          Why do you say that every system is a design? For that matter, what do you mean by system?

          May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          system
          I. An organized or connected group of objects.

          design
          I. A plan conceived in the mind, and related senses.

          They can refer to the same thing but they are not necessarily the same thing.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I think what Vic is trying to say is that he doesn't understand, therefore it must be god. He is no different than the ancient Greek who saw lightning and decided that it was the work of Zeus.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • igaftr

          Vic
          "This universe—and everything in it—is a system, hence a design, hence, has a Designer and a Builder/Creator."
          What an amazingly false and poorly thought out argument.

          What then, if you are correct, created the creator, for if he is as you believe, complex, sentient, then your deity would need a creator, and that creator would need a creator, and on and on.

          Why is it that you cannot see the obvious flaw in your "logic"? Existance is NOT evidence of any "creator", though the history of man clearly shows men imagining and creating their "creator" gods...hundreds of them, actually millions of them becuase each person who imagines a god, imagines something different.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • realbuckyball

      You cannot provide a coherent definition of the word "god".

      May 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'ddeevvinn' presents an instance of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      May 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Somebody discovered Google. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

        May 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          FYI, you left yourself wide open with that snarky comment.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Yes. We all know that the majority of the people on the planet are theists. This means only one thing: The majority of the people on the planet are theists. Not exactly earth shattering.

      May 19, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The teleological argument is irrefutable."

      It has been refuted countless times. Repeating it over and over does not make it true.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
  16. bostontola

    It is amazing that all these groups killing or oppressing people for believing in God in a way different than they do.

    They can't even provide any objective evidence for any God at all, never mind the specific one they worship.

    People even kill others that believe in the same God, just because they follow different rituals and interpretations of poetic scripture.

    That is quite a state of affairs for humans. If these humans were created by a God that intended them to be in his image, either that God is as screwed up as us humans (or worse), or he is not omnipotent/omniscient as advertised.

    May 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • MadeFromDirt

      Neither. God is not screwed up or limited. God loved man so much He gave us a free will, and the capacity to experience the consequences of it.

      May 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
      • bostontola

        Where is free will in a country where people have never heard of Jesus or seen a bible?

        May 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          If you are saying that it is not fair that people who have never been exposed to the saving truth of the Gospel as revealed by God in Scripture will suffer the judgment of eternal separation from God, then you are falling into a common trap of misunderstanding the nature of man and man's relationship to Holy God. Adam and Eve were our representatives, and if any of us were placed in the same situation in Eden, all of us would have eventually given in to the same temptation to disobey God and to make our own rules. So all of us deserve hell, regardless of where and when we are born and live. But God in His grace saves some, through faith in Christ alone, cleansing our free will from the deceptive desires of pride, and extinguishing sin forever.

          God's providence has placed you in a situation where His truth is available to you, and your concern for those who do not have access to the Bible will not excuse you from the heavy indictment of God's perfect and righteous justice for your rejection of Him. But your question reveals an underlying admission that you believe humans have eternal souls and are subject to divine judgment. Perhaps God is preparing to open your eyes that are blinded by sin, for His later purpose of using your concern for the unreached people to motivate you to spread His truth to them.

          May 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Made from dirt,

          you have ignored the question. What about people living where they have not heard the message of Christianity?

          There are billions of these people alive today.

          May 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          @I'm not a GOPer.... I did answer the question, as simply as I could, and then some, but I guess it was a strain to your attention span. So here's the short version: All of us deserve hell.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • observer

          MadeFromDirt,

          It sounds like you are saying that God set us up for failure and created evil and hell. Then we are to be saved, not based on how good of persons we are, but rather if we believe in something that many people are NEVER told about.

          Sounds brilliant.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • Akira

          I believe others on this site have stated that God judges those who have never heard of Him/Jesus/the Bible differently than those who have.
          Because a just God knows that, correct?
          Similar to a child who dies shortly after birth would not be consigned to hell.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          Observer, you are looking at the situation from a fallen man-centered perspective. God did not set man up for failure; to the total contrary, He set us up to enjoy Him forever free from the dangers of sin. So an integral part of that enjoyment is knowing from what He has saved us. So there had to be evil, and there has to be hell, or God's grace and Christ's sacrifice mean nothing.

          Akira, yes Scripture tells of differences in accountability between children and adults. And for adults, yes Scripture tells of degrees of punishment. Again, as I suggested to Bostontola, instead of questioning God's righteous judgment of others, your responsibility is to understand your own situation before our perfect Creator.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • Akira

          There are billions that do not know what Scripture says about any given subject; I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear in my post.

          May 20, 2014 at 12:34 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @madefromdirt,

          so, they all go to hell then?

          May 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • James XCIX

          MadeFromDirt – "So all of us deserve hell, regardless of where and when we are born and live."

          I don't mean to be rude, but I find that to be the most deplorable att.itude to be found among the various Christian ideas, some of which are admirable. Very self-loathing and pathetic.

          "God did not set man up for failure..."

          Funny, then, that the very first man he created "failed".

          May 20, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dirt.,,,,every man fails. The standards are too high. And, some things you call sins are just too much fun.....

          May 20, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • fintronics

          "All of us deserve hell"

          what a sick ignorant twisted belief.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          James XCIX and Fintronics, of course God's truth is offensive to you in your fallen state. That's why you need it. The Gospel is all about strength through weakness, and grace where it is not deserved.

          Gulliblenomore, yes God's standards are perfection; He is perfection and cannot tolerate less. That's why we need Christ. And the "fun" you feel in sin is temporary and very short-lived.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Amen...well said madefromdirt

          May 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dirt....I'm only short lived, so I don't really care. I plan on making the most of my 90 years. And I don't plan on wasting one second of it bowing to some invisible, worthless deity.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          dirt
          What god's truth? All I see is a bunch of men that claim to speak for "god", but no where do I see any sign of any gods.
          The bible...written entirely by men. The Torah, the Kuran, written by men. No where has anything ever been shown to be "god's word"...and THAT is the truth.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • fintronics

          Dirt..... "truth" requires evidence. You cannot provide any evidence for the existence of god beyond your imagination.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • sam stone

        free will and an omniscient god are incompatible, dirt

        nice try, though

        May 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          Sam, I think we have had this back-and-forth before, and the ways of God are foolishness to slaves of sin, so I don't expect to convince you here, absent God's grace. But anyway, God exists outside of time, and He created cosmic time. God created and placed us within cosmic time and our free will operates within time, so as an "outside observer" God sees all of our choices at any and all times. Taking it deeper, God knew that we all would choose sin, so even before Creation He planned our way to redemption and the ultimate destruction of sin.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • ssq41

          "Slaves of sin"....

          Chest expanding...buttons popping!

          Can't you just hear the pride of dirt and see his face beaming knowing how superior he is to you, sam?

          May 20, 2014 at 12:43 am |
        • MadeFromDirt

          SSq41, so Sam can call my answer extolling the power of God incompatible and a nice try, but in your world my discussion that God is the source of all life and truth says I'm the one bursting with pride and claiming superiority. Your snipes against God and believers on this board actually confirm Scripture's teachings about pride and self-righteousness, and how they perpetuate darkness. Do you read what you write? Indeed, on full display in your posts is the logic of sin, from which God has rescued me. "Pride of dirt", hilarious. But if it is prideful to try to wake someone asleep on the tracks, or if it is superior to explain the joy and comfort that faith in Christ brings, then I am guilty of that too.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:10 am |
        • ssq41

          Oh, dirt...how can you fail on so many levels?

          Your use of terms that describe the world around you are without meaning to those who don't believe like you or believe at all. You fail to translate them and instead "slaves of sin..." become nothing more than name-calling.

          What you and your pals fail to remember is that, no matter how arrogant and demeaning you may feel an atheist or non-theist is to you here on this blog, you have to maintain a high moral standard and if you believe your God exists, then you are accountable to him for being such an arrogant ass yourself.

          The terms pride and self-righteousness don't apply to me because I don't believe in your scriptural worldview. However, you, in fact, are the one dripping with self-righteousness and pride in your posts when you address others and instead of making them think about their "sin" it only shows that you have no communication skills. And all those drips by someone named "dirt" only creates a lot of mud.

          (You should get in touch with your pastor and ask him to start teaching witnessing techniques....your very poor at it.)

          You fail to remember that most of the atheists and non-theists here spent years of their lives in the belly of the Beast that is American Christianity. We know what arrogant, self-righteouss SOBs occupy the pews and pulpits of America.

          You and the other members of the Body of Christ are simply without integrity, simply without the capacity for compassion, simply without the capacity to care. You are too immature to be out here "witnessing" or "waking someone" sleeping on the tracks.

          But, you are in great company with kermy and dev and dahla and truthfollower01 and, sadly Robert Brown who used to be such a nice person.

          Instead of trying to boost your ego here on the blog, why not try and comply with Matthew 25:31ff...remember, those verses are for you Christians...and Jesus will tell you "I never knew you, depart from me..." if you don't comply.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:52 am |
        • MadeFromDirt

          Ssq41, thank you for the further demonstration of double-standards and half-logic. Among other things, it is always amusing when a denier tries to use the Bible in their arguments. Your denial of the Bible means you don't understand it, or at least do not agree with it. So if you don't accept the Bible, why do you base an argument on it? Such is the logic employed by deniers.

          You are also mistaken in your impression that I am somehow demeaned by your comments. Rebuttals to you and other deniers are not motivated out of any personal hurt or desire to protect my ego or faith. You are harmless to me, but a danger to yourself and others lost in the same darkness and confusion. I used to be there too.

          I agree with you on one thing: American Christianity as it is seen and understood in our culture is filled with false teachers, hypocrites, dangerous deceptions, empty rituals, and fruitless faith. But that is not because the Bible and God's Gospel is untrue; it is because the version that is most commonly projected by mainstream Christianity (among all denominations) is a misguided watered-down effort to make God's truth attractive and palatable to the persistent egos and depravity of human beings. Such distortions for the purpose of pleasing men rather than glorifying God always produce bad results, and you are a living example of that, and so was I.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Sheik Yerbouti

    Why can’t Christians just leave people alone?

    May 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • igaftr

      Every club needs membership drives, lest the club die out.

      May 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • Reality

      Muslims are significantly more dangerous as they follow the terror teachings of one degenerate Mohammed.

      May 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • bostontola

        Some Muslims.

        May 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • Reality

          Muslims who do not follow the dictates of Mohammed are infidels.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Really. And who decides which are the true Muslims?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • hotairace

          Theo Puffy Words?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • Alias

        You should really learn some history, and some current events too.

        May 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Reality

          An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

          The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

          Added proof as to the terror and horror that is Islam:

          As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

          The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

          ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

          and more recently

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

          15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

          16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

          17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

          18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

          19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

          20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

          21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

          22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

          23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

          o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
          o
          BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
          The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

          25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

          (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
          Continued below:
          Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

          -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

          – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

          – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

          – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

          – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

          – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

          – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

          – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

          – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

          – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

          – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
          – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

          The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

          – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

          – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

          – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

          – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

          – The capture of Abu Anas al-Libi on October 7, 2013

          May 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Akira

          Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with Islam. Neither does/did Kaczynski.
          I do not know why you've included those two, but in this, you are flat out wrong.
          As a matter of fact, Kaczynski is an atheist, so, as you are an avowed atheist yourself, inclusion seems a little odd.

          Zealots are of every flavor...and even atheists are zealots. If bombings are terrorist, as you seem to imply, I would say that the US is every bit as terrorist; witness Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          Is that what you think?

          May 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Akira,

          we don't have to go as far back as Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

          There's another 'death from the sky' announcement almost every week. Some of those UAV pilots are going to have some serious PTSD issues one day.

          How much ordinance did we drop on Cambodia? What did it do to solve anything?

          May 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Akira

          GOPer,
          I know; I was using the most extreme example of a bombing I could think of.

          May 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • Reality

          You requested some history and current events in the general area of terror and horror. Of course, said history is not restricted to Islam so other terrorists were added to give credence to the situation. Islam is fairly unique in that its "holy" book and founder demand that terror and horror be carried out against anyone deemed to be infidels. Said koranic passages have been well docu-mented on these pages.

          May 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
        • Akira

          I requested nothing of the sort.

          Do you have eye trouble?

          May 20, 2014 at 12:55 am |
        • Akira

          Added proof as to the terror and horror that is Islam:

          Not to mention that McVeigh's and Kaczynski's motives has zero to do with religion...Islam or otherwise.

          May 20, 2014 at 1:00 am |
        • Reality

          The response was to Alias' request:

          "You should really learn some history, and some current events too.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Reply"

          May 20, 2014 at 7:26 am |
        • Akira

          And as Alias never replied to anything else on this particular thread, you post at 11:41 clearly looks as if you were replying to me.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:01 am |
  18. ddeevviinn

    tal

    It's actually very simple. My faith reveals to me that I have been alienated from my creator because of my sin. He has provided a way by which this alienation can be rectified : " Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Peace, reconciliation, justification, righteousness before God, that's what it's all about for me. It is something I want and desperately need in this present life. That eternal life is possible is simply icing, and it's a lot of icing, on the cake.

    May 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      tal,

      this was meant as a reply to your previous question/accusation.

      May 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Devin....you stated that is what you need and want. That is why you believe it....because you need to. I don't need it or want it really. I have no intention of spending an eternal life praising anybody, even on the off-chance you are right.

      May 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • harlow13

      To me, it just doesn't sound like the game plan of a wizened being. It sounds like the half-baked notion of a nut. Make the sick creature, then command him to be well. That sounds nuts to me.

      May 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
      • Reality

        Indeed it does !!!!!

        May 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • Doris

        I have to agree. Even Gandalf the Grey could have come up with something much better than that – even before he turned white.

        May 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • Doris

          But people do all kinds of nutty things when they want to exercise as much control as possible over others.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      gul

      "I don't have it or want it really"

      And I have no problem with that. It is your life, your decision. There has never been a point in my christian experience when I have, or wanted to, impose my beliefs on another human being. I present my opinion and argue my position, but your chosen path is not my business.

      As I've stated previously, Jesus says " It is not those who are well who need a physician, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.". I am in need of this physician.

      May 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • bostontola

        I'm glad you found what you need.

        May 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
      • hotairace

        Some desert dweller called jesus allegedly said. . . There are no first hand accounts of anything jesus allegedly said. An honest christian would include allegedly whenever claiming jesus said or did something. If they don't, they are pretending to know things they do not, or lying.

        May 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOU SUSPECT there are no first hand accounts......that what you mean?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • hotairace

          I understand there are no first hand accounts, that the earliest accounts were written several years after some dude called jesus was crucified and that none of the authors actually met said dead dude. Am I wrong?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          can you prove this?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          Approximately how much time passed between any first hand accounts and when it was written down?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you mean first hand..as by the people who were passing the message around..how long since they passed and then the Gospels were written? Clarify please...because we have evidence that the Gospels were written within the generation of those who witnessed Jesus....some of those would still been alive....

          May 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • hotairace

          I confess to believing biblical scholars as often quoted here. I have no personal proof. Am I or they wrong?

          May 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          kermit,
          I meant first hand to mean got the message directly from Jesus when he was alive.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • hotairace

          First hand as in actually written by eye witnesses and/or actual colleagues of said dead dude, within a short period (hours, days?) of the events occurring, before the accuracy of the story degraded.

          May 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          accuracy would not have degraded as the way they kept oral traditions......

          May 20, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • believerfred

          When Jesus was alive? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James

          May 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          And you'd think, even with copying from one another, they'd at least get the 'discovery of the tomb' story straight.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          There are no contradictions of the account of finding the empty tomb.....got to read it carefuully

          May 20, 2014 at 1:55 am |
        • believerfred

          We don't know when their accounts were written but certainly it was more than 30 years before the official written accounts were accepted.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • believerfred

          GOPer
          Why? Even at a traffic accident you will get varied accounts. If it was made up then you would expect perfect stories.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          The question was approximately how much time transpired between first hand accounts and those accounts being written down.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          There is evidence that they were written down no more than 30 years after...most likely within 20 years of Jesus death and resurrection...

          May 20, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          I couldn't have said it better than you. That's why the police don't believe any of the accident reporter's stories.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          I said about 30 years. Don't forget believers were beaten and killed during the first 30 years. It was in 70AD that the Jews who chasing them down were finally killed off. That is how most date the various gospels (i.e. did they mention the 70AD destruction of the Temple.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          " Even at a traffic accident you will get varied accounts."
          ---------------
          Agreed. So how can it be considered 'inerrant'?

          May 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          I noticed that after I wrote that comment to kermit, my apologies. My point was the same as yours, a report decades later is bound to have drifted. People who read the bibles as literal truth must stretch interpretations to the point of uselessness.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • samsstones

          Freddie
          Take a little time and investigate the unreliability of eyewitness evidence, the longer after the fact the more unreliable. Everyone with half a brain understands that people will embellish a story as time passes. A simple example is a story presented verbally to one person then passed on to another, after 20 people the original story has changed considerably from the original. All police forces and intelligence agency perform this type or exercise in order to point out that they should be wary of accepting eyewitness testimony as fact. Your biblical nonsense suffers the same fate, even more so considering it was passed on by ignorant and perhaps biased sheep herders/fishermen.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          anyone with half a brain can also know that the Jews were good at keeping the stories straight....thru oral traditions..many skeptics pathetically attempt to use the "Chinese Whisper Game" to make a point....it is a terrible argument since the Chinese whisper game..you are not allowed to recheck your sources...recheck what they said..asked them to repeat etc etc....

          May 20, 2014 at 1:58 am |
        • believerfred

          GOPer
          Weird but, the original Scripture is inerrant while the thousands of translations or 30 major ones could have some error. However plenary-verbally inspired.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • hotairace

          fred, everything I have read (on believer sites) says Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses to anything the desert dweller called jesus did.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          samsstones
          Yes and I would be skeptical and did not believe until after I had a personal experience where Jesus did exactly what the New Testament said he would do. Not just once but several times after. Even more strange is that many parts claim the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth once you accept Christ. Guess what, suddenly in a flash it was all true to me and I could see a reality that included God in every aspect.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          Did Jesus reveal anything about evolution or the Big Bang to you?

          May 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • samsstones

          Freddie
          And here I thought that epiphanies had more to do with magic mushrooms and the yellow tabs were just bad acid, but after all it is your mind and your trip, I am good with that. Can you please keep your beliefs to yourself and not try to influence a secular government, try, thanks.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • believerfred

          HotAirAce
          Luke was a historian and as with Mark were traveling buds with Paul. Paul encountered the 500 witnesses and Jesus after the resurrection. Technically Jesus was very much alive when Paul met his resurrected self.
          He was seen by his own brother James the head of the Jerusalem church

          May 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          "Did Jesus reveal anything about evolution or the Big Bang to you?"
          =>I do not get a response other than this world is part of the delusion set by the serpent at the tree of knowledge. The Big Bang and evolution are man made explanations dependent upon the delusion that there is only the physical i.e. natural. I do not understand the area where physical and spiritual kingdoms encounter each other.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • samsstones

          fred
          With that last comment you rally are Topher like, so sad.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          samsstones
          Based on the success of my recent voting I would say my effect on secular government is Zero.

          May 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          your statement: "this world is part of the delusion set by the serpent at the tree of knowledge." is fascinating to me. This world is the delusion, the invisible, impossible to detect with objective detector world is not delusional. I think I finally get Lewis Carrol was getting at in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • samsstones

          fred
          Love your personal experience with jesus, better delusion than most. You know of course that others have had delusions that didn't work out so well. People can convince themselves that a leader can be holy enough like Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshal Herf and so many others that they will do anything to please their god figure. Try and break away, only good can come from it. There is no salvation, only death, deal with it.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          samstones
          The entire Bible is based upon and about the plan of God in creation. I have yet to hear of a better explanation of why we exist, have you? An accidental virtually impossible intelligence that came out of a rock (inorganic matter) is no less miraculous than a virgin birth pointing to something far greater than either of us could comprehend.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          The natural explanation of the start of the universe may not be less miraculous, but it required no more miracles after initialization. Your religion has a series of miracles, some of which conflict with objective evidence. In that sense, the natural explanation is less miraculous and less in conflict with what we can measure.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • believerfred

          samsstones
          The reality is that regardless if God is real or simply delusion the effect and affect of the history of mankind worshiping God has formed our reality. God is causation of who we are regardless if God is real or delusion. As to evidence for God Spinoza gave the best poof I have seen. Anyone who rejects God cannot reject the God of Spinoza, not even Einstein would do that. At that point even you are stuck with a wonder and awe that does indeed exist.
          As your comment that death is not to be feared, why would that be? What evidence do you have for non existence since non existence has been proven to be an impossibility?

          May 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          I couldn't agree more that the notion of God has been transformative to humanity (even at the genetic level).

          May 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • samsstones

          fred
          Well I believe I am just a universe of particles, star stuff, that will return to the amazing variability of energy and matter when I die. Will my conscience existence of this life or some eternal life happen, I do not really care or believe it will. BTW I do not need to be "saved" by some delusion, grow up you people, religion has been scamming people since the first witchdoctor plied his trade. The world will not be free until the last king is strangled by the entrails of the last priest. Amen.

          May 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          "it required no more miracles after initialization"
          =>miracles perhaps not in a biblical sense but miraculous on all scientific fronts not to mention Aesthetically

          May 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Science Works

          calling beliererfred Flintstone please go to page 4 and read the comment for you.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          samsstones
          So, that innate need to worship evidenced since Neanderthal was just another accident of natural selection? You do realize that what you profess is simply a form of philosophical naturalism and naturalism is illogical given the observation of matter that does not appear to have mass?
          Your belief and my belief are a function of what cannot be seen without faith. I have a game plan for creation and based on what you stated you have no idea why you exist. Who sounds more logical?

          May 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          "I have a game plan for creation and based on what you stated you have no idea why you exist. Who sounds more logical?"

          Wishful thinking does not necessarily give reality. Nor does pretending you have all the answers to questions without proof.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • samsstones

          fred
          I do because man made up the gods to explain what he could not fathom, knowledge will kill off religion and the gods, as the Greek and Roman gods are now toast, yours will also be, just a matter of time. Good nidht.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • believerfred

          samsstones
          Let me see if I have this right. Over the last 6,000 to 95,000 years man continues to believe in the supernatural (God, god and gods or that which is an idol for man) yet you think it is somehow logical that someday they will not. That is unreasonable except to the unreasonable. All evidence (yes evidence) points to a continued belief in the supernatural.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          observer
          "Wishful thinking does not necessarily give reality. Nor does pretending you have all the answers to questions without proof."
          =>I don't know where you get that. Believers are specifically told we cannot know the mind or way of God other that what God has revealed. That is a lot of unknown.
          =>There is no pretending. The Bible sets out the plan of creation and not one person has shown a better one. Absent any other plan it is foolishness to make up your own or believe there is no plan.
          =>tell me your purpose for existence since you obviously have no plan. God forbid your plan is better than Jesus who without doubt remains the most influential of all know men in the last 4 billion years or so.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Fred,
          Many things in science look miraculous until the science and math explain them.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • hotairace

          fred, you are in denial. The percentage of believers in the world is decreasing. Believers are on the increase only in third world countries with high birth rates.

          May 19, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          Science has explained babies from conception yet babies remain miraculous. When they first grab your finger out of the womb science cannot explain awareness of life which is very different than an organic blob we can create that would also grab your little finger.
          Consider that we have created robotics with organic components that have capacity to adjust software and hardware in response to external stimuli. That creation can also reproduce itself. It meets all the requirements of "life". The problem is that when you see, touch or talk with one you know the difference between life and this creation. It is that difference that is unique and it is that difference that can have a relationship with God. We were created for relationship with God. We were created to worship out of love and admiration all that God has done. Not that God needs it but will find it miraculous.

          May 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          hotairace
          No, atheists remain less than 10% of the population as they have been since records were kept. Even Einstein was not an atheist if you need some boundary as to what constitutes an atheist. His reasoning was in line with Spinoza's "God" having given proof for the existence of "God" (not the God of theology)

          May 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "science cannot explain awareness of life which is very different than an organic blob we can create that would also grab your little finger."
          ------------
          Yes, babies are cute, but baby monkeys will grab your finger too.

          May 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          "tell me your purpose for existence since you obviously have no plan"

          The huge flaw in your thinking is your lack of realization that mankind might NOT KNOW, at least for now. Just like you, I don't know FOR SURE what the purpose for existence is. I also don't know if life exists on other planets. Do you know that answer too?

          May 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'believerfred' presents a common form of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          May 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • ssq41

          "there is evidence..." the kerm says.

          Cough it up, kermy.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • fintronics

          @fred "I do not get a response other than this world is part of the delusion set by the serpent at the tree of knowledge"

          And up goes the nut-job flag.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • hotairace

          fred, again, you are in denial. Check out the data here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1690/religion.aspx.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          hotairace
          Thanks for the numbers but overall not much has changed if you look at how they modified the questions. But, the Bible does say a time is coming when believers will be subject to great persecution.
          The question does not ask if you are atheist in the first category. 15% have no preference as to choice of religion, you cannot assume that means they are atheist. I do not see many true atheists because the smallest bit of integrity would demand a I don't know response

          May 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
    • samsstones

      dev....
      Are you a fellow nutter of the likes of Topher that have convinced yourself that you have broken all ten commandments because you "think" you have? What silly "sins" do you think you are guilty of and need a saviour to save your desp!cable ass? BTW it is all a scam, why do you believe you need saving?

      May 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I was pretty close to my primary creator until she died. I had some tense times with my other creator. Sometimes the only thing he and I could discuss without argument was UFOs and Area 51. But when he got sick, we started getting closer. All in all, I really loved my creators and miss them very much. I guess that's why I don't feel the need to add on a pretend creator who didn't even bother teaching me to ride a bike.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  19. Science Works

    LMAO petty well sums it up !

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Miles O’Brien slam CNN as the ‘Wal-Mart of journalism’
    By Scott Kaufman
    Monday, May 19, 2014 13:11 EDT

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/19/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-miles-obrien-slam-cnn-as-the-wal-mart-of-journalism/

    no god(s) required.

    May 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  20. Sanchez

    Trusting God in her distress has made Naghmeh appreciate 2 Corinthians 12:10, Naghmeh said: "I could never understand until now, when you're at such a point of desperation, when you're clinging to God, and that's all you have."

    "I want to ask you to continue to pray for our family, I struggle every day. Every day I have to wake up and give everything to God and just cling to Him"

    Naghmeh, wife of Pastor Abedini.

    May 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • Sanchez

      To Pastor Abedini and your family: We pray for you and countless others who are persecuted for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that God will continue to strengthen you and your family.

      May 19, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • kudlak

      In times of desperation, maybe, but why would someone choose such a thing all throughout their lives? A man may eat a rat if he's hungry enough, but if he choose it over eating beef most people would think him pretty nuts, right? Surely, the average Christian isn't living "desperately" all the time.

      May 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • Sanchez

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw5FuvScrr4&w=640&h=360]

      May 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Why do people post lame music videos? Why can't they just enjoy them in the privacy of their own homes?

        May 19, 2014 at 10:56 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.