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Americans: Undecided About God?


Society & Culture  (tags: americans, culture, education, ethics, freedoms, politics, religion, society )

Kit
- 1106 days ago - nytimes.com
Their idea is that we've mixed politics and religion so completely that many simply opt out of both; apparently they are reluctant to claim a religious affiliation because they don't want the political one that comes along with it.



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Comments

Sue H. (7)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:20 pm
A good read, thanks for posting.
 

Kit B. (276)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:21 pm

This is article should give anyone pause for thought. Before being labeled as an atheist at Care2, which bothers me not all, I considered myself a humanist. Unlike the author, though I have confront my own personal crisis, I have not found a need to search for higher beings for comfort. I do find comfort in my faith of the human spirit. The ability of people to reach out and offer comfort and love to one another truly inspires me. I do know many who are atheist or humanist, (the word game) and have found none that I could describe as Angry, just some times frustrated at having others preach to them. If there is a god then I should think the only path to reach a divinity is through personal introspection, for it is our thoughts that direct our actions.
 

Yvonne White (233)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 7:29 pm
I am not sure it matters if I believe in god, what matters is if he believes in me..;) They say there are no athiests in fox holes, but I always wondered what the fox thought about it.
I know organized religion is not the answer. But I expect MORE from a god, any god - so I guess I'm an Agnostic. I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 8:52 pm
If I need the threat of damnation to make me a good person then I'm not truly a good person at heart.

Given the amount of misery in the world and how often our leaders in government and the various religions ask for god to bless this country and its people it is difficult for me to accept that there is a god. The same can be said by people all over the world. That also makes it pretty clear there is no god otherwise there would be at least one place or group of people that never suffer any disasters or hardships. There is no such place on this planet.

The involvement of religion in politics will not serve the people as a whole and the reason for that is one religion is attempting to dominate the political process. We can see how repression occurs in Arab countries when Islam takes over the government and it is worrisome to all non Islamic religions. The same would be true in the US if the Christian religion were allowed to takeover our government. The only way to have freedom of religion or freedom from religion is to keep all religion out of politics and the government.
 

Phil R. (29)
Saturday December 10, 2011, 9:24 pm
Someone ought to tell Eric that if he's a "None" then he's a least an Agnostic and at most an Atheist. Fer cryin' out loud if you don't believe then just embrace it and stop hedging! Ya think it ever occurred to him that maybe the drift from organized religions isn't brought on by politics but the realization that they're just a group of myths and faery tales? My favourite line from the article; "God is not an exclamation point, though. He is, at his best, a semicolon."
 

Roger M. (0)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:28 am
Interesting reading. Thanks very much.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:27 am

Many are fed-up with the idea of organized religion because, I think it is finally being seen for what it is - a corporate entity using the fear of the wrath of god to take funds. I don't fear Dante's creative hell nor do I fear the mythological gods used to keep people towing the line. We all have an expiration date, unknown as it maybe, what we do with our time here is the only thing that can really make a difference on this earth.
 

Terry King (109)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:28 am
I am happily free of the belief in he Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa, and any one of the most popular " Omniscient sky daddies. I have arrived here through 60+ years of study and contemplation and am at peace with my conclusions. I am not afraid of being labeled an Atheist, Secular Humanist, or any other identifier with the exception of Republican or Evangelical anything!
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 12:33 pm
The closest I will ever get to a 'God' is a Dog. A dog loves you unconditionally, never judges you, always forgives you and will always be there for you until the day they leave this life. That is the closest thing to 'God' I will ever know. That is all I need.

I do not believe in organized religion and it leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. That doesn't mean I look down on or dismiss anyone else's need to believe whatever they need to in order to get through their life. BUT, I really, really, REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY despise someone trying to convert me to their beliefs. I don't force my spiritual views on anyone else, therefore, I would like the same respect returned to me.
 

Val R. (254)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 12:37 pm
religion to me is an institution and all institutions TELL you what to believe - I am spiritual not religious - I also belong to the Humanist Party which is based in South America - they are humanists - so I suppose I am a spiritual humanist - for me religion is where you don't have to think - you just follow - so no wonder people are scared to say they are one thing or another - you may get killed and for what - not wanting to think for yourself?
 

Yvonne White (233)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 3:40 pm
Amen Everybody!:) Great comments! I can't send green stars to some of you individually - so that alone must mean There is no god!;) hehe..
 

Barb Knight (1683)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 3:46 pm
I believe in God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was seven years old. I am PROUD to BELONG to JESUS because I know I'll go to Heaven when I die. I won't be killed for my beliefs, and if I am then that's the way I am supposed to die. Religion is not an institution. Religion is a belief in whichever diety a person is brought up in. God LOVES us SO MUCH that He gave us FREE WILL in hopes that we would choose the right path of Love and Light and follow in Jesus' footsteps by spreading the Good News about JESUS. Because of our FREE WILL however, some ppl choose not to follow in Jesus' footsteps. More than that, God Loves Us SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON to DIE ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS WITH HIS BLOOD. I'm not trying to force my beliefs on anyone I'm just sharing what I learned as a child and what I still believe as an adult. God is my comforter, my safety net, He makes miracles happen but in His time. There is a lot I don't understand about God but that's where FAITH comes in. Christians walk by FAITH not by SIGHT. Thank you for posting Kit and giving me an opportunity to express my feelings about God. God Bless.
 

Debra Holliday (38)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 4:21 pm
Well, said Sunshine Lady, I couldn't have said it better myself! I am a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came to die for everyone's sins -- the greatest Love of all time! He came to bring love and a relationship, not an institute of religion.

It's really sad that people do not understand that the freewill God so lovingly gave us can bring such heartache, famine, destruction and death when we only rely on ourselves as humanists. If we all decide to stand up in the name of Love and actually do something about the horrors of the world, then we are truly God's children. OH, there are many Democrats that are Christian also, and many Republicans that are not. Every individual must stand on his own place. Therefore we shouldn't always lump all people into a rhetorical lump by the actions of one or small group that the media decides to show everyone. "- a corporate entity using the fear of the wrath of god to take funds." Get involved in a church and actually experience true community and the good of its missions -- food pantries, homeless shelters, elderly care, daycare, foreign missions to rebuild villages, etc. That is what Christianity is truly about!
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 4:57 pm
Christianity is just one more religion in a long line of efforts to control nature/people/events.

I've lived long enough to see more and more of us "coming out" and telling the world that the "emperor is naked."

The "godly" are more than welcome to practice their superstitions...just leave me and my life out of it!
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:03 pm

This article is not a condemnation of god/Jesus/Buddha/etc. However, it is a clear statement that many are growing weary of those who wish to dictate to others how to live their lives. If you choose to believe that free will does exist then please do use that free will to actively be involved in actions that will help those in need.

I will say again - when the disasters of Haiti and Japan occurred I personally spoke with dozens - in fact all local churches asking for help to send socks and baby blankets. There was a clear response. NO. Elections are coming up and money is needed for that.

The blanks and socks I bought cost me some money, I sent dozens of packages filled with items to assist those in need, just as I buy food for the food bank. It would work much better if we all worked together to help one another, rather then being isolated and separated by an identity of which church or religion one follows.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:15 pm
Sorry to hear that, Kit`! Apparently, "wearing" the "I'm godly" shirt is enough for those churches you contacted! "Talking the talk," so to speak. I'm not surprised....just shaking my head.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:25 pm
Thanks for posting Kit. Inadvertently, I just posted it again. Separation of church and state is obviously impossible in America. Are US citizens frightened to death of heaven or hell or just "god"? If so, why?
 

Barb Knight (1683)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:35 pm
God's name should alway be capitilized. Unless you are speaking of a mythilogical god like Zeus or Apollo...
 

Terry King (109)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 5:56 pm
Zeus is merely mythological and the Christian god is 'he one true god? Typical!
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:08 pm
MYTH..."traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of a world view of a people or explain a practice. belief or natural phenomenon.. 2. parable, allegory 3. a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence

ALL gods are myths. By the very nature of the fact that they've never, EVER been proven...they're all myths.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:18 pm

Why is the god of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians Persians or any other ancient culture a mythology and modern gods not? God is not supposed to have a name according to Judaism, and all modern western religions are based on Judaism. Heaven and hell have nothing to do with religion, hell is a creation by a man, an early novelist named Dante Alighieri. The early church liked the allegory and began to use the fear it could produce. Fear, not love keeps people in line and doing as they are told. Any questions about that can be found any history book, or more simply online using Google. Does any one really think people liked the years of the Inquisition? I can list many other brutalities of the church. How did the christian church begin? It was formed by a political need of the Emperor Constantine, to fill a need he had to stay alive and to combine the East and West Roman Empire. The so called Holy Roman Empire didn't even exist till nearly 400 years after the death of Jesus. Prior to that there were small, scattered sects of Copts and Gnostic's. Though it wasn't long before they were outlawed by the new church. When referring to the Holy Roman Empire, most are talking about the later years under the Habsburgs.

Personally, it does me no harm what any one believes I just wish people would learn the actual history of their belief system of choice. What does do harm is when politics and religion are mixed, it harms all of us.
 

Robert B. (58)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 6:29 pm
Instead of wondering what to believe or judging others based on what they believe we should just live as decent human beings. If there is a God, we'll eventually find out. If not, we'll find that out also. Right now we can't prove it either way. Religions that don't operate in the true spirit of unconditional love are frauds and need to be dismissed. If there is a God then that God would be unconditional love. One thing we can all believe in is love and compassion. All else is insignificant. Politicians that claim "God is on their side" are full of it. Instead of worrying about hell and damnation we should be worrying about just being decent while we are alive.
 

Maria T. (4)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 7:46 pm
So interesting, and thought provoking. Thanks for posting.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 7:57 pm
THERE IS NO GOD! There is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of a god, gods or the supernatural. Do you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Clause Too? Once, as a child, I did, but then I grew up and used my mind. I found that logic set in and got real..

Believe whatever you like but please have a valid reason for doing so.
 

Shan D. (49)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:31 pm
Couldn't read the article without logging in. I am NOT going to register just to read one story, especially if they want money.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday December 11, 2011, 10:34 pm
Interesting article! My parents were Roman Catholics, and I was educated by nuns in Catholic schools. Over the years I've abandoned many of the beliefs and fears that were beat into me by the nuns who educated me and no longer call myself a Catholic --but I still believe. I did not have a happy, carefree childhood, and it was my faith that got me through the worst of times. When my son told me that he was an atheist at the tender age of 15, I was very concerned, but instead of reacting with anger or panic, I asked him to explain why. His reasons were intelligent, based mostly on science and observation, and I felt as though I was speaking with an adult who had given the subject a considerable amount of thought. He even suggested that religion was a means of creating and maintaining civil order.

I don't know who's right and who's wrong. No-one does. It's a personal choice, and we need to respect each other's choices. Religion has no place in politics, and I don't trust any politicians or groups who use religion to promote their agendas.
 

Bracha Kay (31)
Monday December 12, 2011, 3:17 am
Interesting. I like the idea that what is true is whatever makes us better, kinder people.
I am not religious, because I do not believe in the absolute truth of any religion. We do not need to be told how to connect to God, how to be spiritual, we only need to follow our heart and soul and God lets you know exactly what you need to do.
No one has a monopoly on God, or on knowing what God wants, or even on talking to God.
Spiritual teachers can help us, but only if we feel that they resonate spiritually with us.
I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, I love a lot of what I have been taught. There is a lot of beauty and wisdom in Judaism and in every religion, but I have taken what I know is right for me and left the rest.

Thank you Kit.
 

Cynthia not well (340)
Monday December 12, 2011, 4:24 am
I'm still just Confused. Neither here nor there. Brain washed as a child. Confused as an adult.
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Monday December 12, 2011, 4:58 am
Not all organized religions have or use God or the wrath of a Supreme Being or gods---Hindu, Buddism, and others for example. To me a religion simply firstly treats man as a spiritual being, having to do with spirituality---God or supreme being is not necessarily needed---and an organized religion is simply two or more persons with similar beliefs.
Some say salvation/truth/freedom comes from something other than yourself (God etc.), others say it comes from yourself/within ('know yourself and the truth shall set you free')
What is true is what is true for you. If there's any truth to be known you're the one who will know it. Responsibility and control are closely connected. IMO the way God is used is this: ultimately zero control of yourself, zero responsibility for yourself and 100% control by something/someone else and 100% responsibility by something/someone else.
Everyone has free will (unless you have zero control and zero responsibility for yourself and have assigned 100% control and responsibility for everything over to something/someone else in which case you then have to be 'given' free will by that other thing. Rigged.)

 

Beth FS (149)
Monday December 12, 2011, 5:16 am
There are some things that you have to admit are pretty incredible, impossible and even miraculous...http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/45597247/ns/sports-olympic_sports/ I think divine intervention was at work here...God helps those whom help themselves is a fit saying for this story, as this young woman, despite her injury, was able to overcome...and then given back the use of her legs :-)
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Monday December 12, 2011, 7:12 am
This dyslexic atheist insomiac is still lying in bed wondering if there really is a dog. But she doubts it for obvious reasons.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Monday December 12, 2011, 7:26 am
Should I pray to god to help me sleep, or visit my chemist for a sleeping pill?
 

Frank S. (461)
Monday December 12, 2011, 9:30 am
All religion was invented by man! These days, even the religion that man invented, has been twisted, misused and defiled by man himself! God is love and mercy, but man has tried to box and package him up for the sale to the gullible masses, a man invented God within man invented religions!

As for the real God, he exists! He believes in love and mercy, but his time is eternal while ours is finite, his knowledge is omnipotent while ours is mostly nonsense. People wonder why, if God exists, he doesn’t ease the suffering upon the earth? However what they don’t realize is that to God “everyone whom has ever lived and everything that has ever lived, is still alive even after death!” Until the day that he says otherwise!

American Standard Version James 1:27 (Gods Point of View Upon Religion)

27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.- asvbible.com

http://asvbible.com/james/1.htm
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Monday December 12, 2011, 10:41 am
"As for the real God, he exists!" - ?
 

Past Member (0)
Monday December 12, 2011, 10:43 am


I'm decided. Got another miracle today, one I could never have handled without much effort. Thenk you, my HP.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
In optics, mechanics, and mathematics, Newton was a figure of undisputed genius and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central. What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God's plan for history from the Bible. He did a considerable work on biblical numerology, and, though aspects of his beliefs were not orthodox, he thought theology was very important. In his system of physics, God was essential to the nature and absoluteness of space. In Principia he stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful
 

Kristen H. (25)
Monday December 12, 2011, 10:49 am
I would not say we're undecided. Most people know what they believe. What I believe, personally, is that the churches have been invaded by zealots & fanatics who know nothing about having a calm faith in the Creator God, and only want to push their agenda of fear onto the rest of society and rule by force.

If you'll remember, forcing people to obey "god's will" was the reason behind Satan's fall from grace.
 

Dee C. (210)
Monday December 12, 2011, 11:36 am
"Personally, it does me no harm what any one believes I just wish people would learn the actual history of their belief system of choice. What does do harm is when politics and religion are mixed, it harms all of us"

Can't send you a star yet Kit..but you deserve one for that comment..

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid." Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor during the 1st century CE.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday December 12, 2011, 1:47 pm
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile." [Kurt Vonnegut]

I concur.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday December 12, 2011, 1:55 pm

Fascinating comments and all without a single ad hominem attack. I thank you all, sorry I could not send stars to each of you.
 

Frank S. (461)
Monday December 12, 2011, 2:09 pm
I grew up in the toughest part of several barrios, where the interplay of the light and darkness, good and evil always vie for supremacy. In the hood, things are not quite so hidden, unlike in the rest of the world where most paranormal good and evil phenomena, is quietly brushed under the rug by the mainstream media. Growing up on the streets, I got to see some really scary paranormal stuff; some of it was so frightening that it could have driven a strong man or woman insane. I have also seen many of the good things God has done for people, results which are indeed considered miraculous by them. If you do not believe in evil, then you cannot believe in God. But walk through a war zone, or a place where genocide occurred like the Holocaust, Rwanda or Sudan, or the “killing fields” of Pol Pot, or even a drug infested high crime neighborhood, and you will come face to face with the very real force of evil. Now if evil exists? Then one cannot deny that God is also real! For me and my family, “Jesus is Lord,” because “God is Love and Mercy!”
 

Kate Kenner (212)
Monday December 12, 2011, 2:22 pm
I am decided-I am an atheist. I call myself a cultural historical, Jewish, atheist. Studs Terkel once said, in case there are any agnostics, that "an agnostic is just a cowardly atheist" I believe in Mother Nature.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday December 12, 2011, 2:42 pm
Humanism
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Monday December 12, 2011, 2:45 pm
I rarely partake in polls, but mark the "no religion" box when I do. Can't call myself atheist because I believe there's an afterlife. Not really agnostic, because I don't believe in god. I believe in love, truth, science, eternity....And I also know evil exists. So, I've settled with "non-theist" and humanist. It's really sad that we need labels to divide us. My "little joke" is that a very long time ago, there was "good"....one day, someone got the bright idea to take out one of the "o"s...
 

David Menard (43)
Monday December 12, 2011, 3:01 pm
Heathen and proud of it.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Monday December 12, 2011, 3:22 pm
"I believe there's an afterlife" - Why Lois, been there, done that or know someone who has?
 

Debra Van Way (12)
Monday December 12, 2011, 4:21 pm
My Mom was extremely religious even as a child. Her parents were not-she went to church by herself. I think Dad went to church to keep Mom company. I was forced to wear frilly dresses, gloves, kill your toes patent leather shoes and, (gah!) a hat to church. Bad news when one happens to be a tomboy. I can tell you exactly how many windows, ceiling tiles, wall sconces, etc., were in the church. I can tell you how many of the older folks fell asleep during the seemingly never ending sermon. I can tell you how many folks bad mouthed other church members out of their hearing, how many picked apart the minister's sermon, and on and on. I can tell you Dad had to bribe me with promise of an ice cream cone after the service or all hell was going to be turned loose. I can also tell you the moment I walked into our home, the strip show began, gloves pitched one direction, shoes another and I was in my underwear searching for my "real" clothes within 30 second and outside playing within 2 minutes. I believe in good and evil. I don't believe in church-any church.
 

Fran C. (7)
Monday December 12, 2011, 4:26 pm
Well, I'm a None. Totally comfortable with that, especially as I don't live in the States, Oh, the stale old foxhole anecdote? Please. Do some research. And how come both football teams pray, but only one wins???
 

Charlene Rush (2)
Monday December 12, 2011, 4:31 pm
After 8 years of Catholic schooling, I have come to believe that there is abslutely, no relation to god and religion. Most people don't follow the religion, about which they say, they believe.
They don't know their religion's history, or why it was started in the first place. People, during arduous times in history, desperately needed to believe, that there would be an end to their suffering, some day.
Religion fills that gap for those, who feel destitute.

What I find most provocative, is the thinking that you must believe in god, to be a good person. I was taught to be a good person, because that is the proper way to behave. This is the most unparalleled method for everyone to be happy. It's simply, common sense.
Honestly, I find many people who propose to believe in god, are some of the most nasty people I know.,

Everyone worships the same god, only with different identities.
 

Jonjon Hoy (146)
Monday December 12, 2011, 5:56 pm
With the world the way it is and congress, one thing no one can take from me is My Faith in God.
 

Jonjon Hoy (146)
Monday December 12, 2011, 5:57 pm
Thank you Kit B. For the article. It's an eye opener for many people as well as a Wake Up Call.
 

Frank S. (461)
Monday December 12, 2011, 6:00 pm
Here are some pretty cool quotes from some pretty cool people, upon the subject of God.

“The greatest act of faith takes place when a man finally decides that he is not God.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe

“Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen.” Michel De Montaigne, Essays

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis

“If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped.” Evelyn Underhill

“I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.” Galileo

“Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.” Heywood Broun

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” C.S. Lewis

All Quotes are from http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/favourite-quotes.php
 

Tom H. (36)
Monday December 12, 2011, 6:21 pm
What the author, Mr. Weiner, is looking for is what so many of you have described here. It's called Unitarian Universalism. In fact, the sum of all these comments could easily be an entire series of "sermons" at a UU church near you on any given Sunday morning.

Keep the faith, Good Folks!
 

Eddie O. (95)
Monday December 12, 2011, 7:00 pm
Great article, and great posts. It is so refreshing to know that more and more people aren't blindly following any religion, and that they are starting to truly question what's right and what's not, at least for them. I tried various religions almost 40 years ago, when I was suicidal and begging to die 24/7. Hypnosis, although not a religion, helped the most until someone told me about Nichiren Buddhism.

Being that I was desperate I finally went to a meeting and started giving it a try. I loved that there was no judgment, including, for all the drugs and negative life-style I had at that time And I was very impressed that there were no rules, no commandments, etc., and I felt nothing but compassion from the people at the meetings. They knew that if I started practicing, I would naturally discover what was making me happy, and what wasn’t.

Anyway, a young lady that I met had also started giving it a try, and both of us were bombarded by Christian fundamentalists telling us we were into devil worship, and we were going to hell. It was at that time that I told her, if there is a “God”, he/she would have to be incredibly childish to condemn us to hell, because we were becoming more loving, more compassionate, more caring, people, but we weren’t doing it His/Her way.

What matters most is the HEART. May everyone here have a heart that is filled with inner peace and joy, and compassion, respect, and appreciation, for all life.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Monday December 12, 2011, 8:43 pm
A day or two ago a scholar was on NPR and talked about how Christ often times used humor, to get his point across, and how many Christians, in their quest to dissect and take so literal everything, have very obviously missed a lot of the point, by not understand the humor of the times back then. He also talked about how things back then were told as parables, and metaphors, and analogies, and were never intended to be taken literally. It was a very good presentation on NPR, and quite informative.
 

Patricia N. (8)
Monday December 12, 2011, 10:00 pm
I don't want anything to do with any organized religion. All we can do in this life is help all animals including us humans in any way we can and try to protect our environment and planet as well as we can. If there is a god or gods......it is us.
 

Elize Labuschagne (190)
Monday December 12, 2011, 11:47 pm
You can treat life and say everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle. I have seen many miracles.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 12:13 am
So have I Elize but after I saw the parting of the sea and water turned into wine I gave up on miracles. Why didn't you?
 

Brian M. (202)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 9:06 am
The United States is a secular nation and, while on a small percentage of people openly label themselves as atheists, a significantly larger percentage are comfortable labelling themselves as "non-believers." Add these two groups together, one can only conclude that 1 out of 3 Americans doesn't believe in magical beings, such as god, or pay much attention to the archaic dogma and superstition that permeates the so-called "holy" books of the bible, the koran, or the torah. Americans reject religious politics for the same reasons that so many of them reject religion altogether: stone age belief systems have nothing to offer the high tech problems of the modern world.
 

Brenda Towers (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 11:19 am
Let's hope that God is not undecided about them!!
 

Kathy Javens (104)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 12:37 pm
Noted & will post to FB. First of all, this is a great article. Thank you, Kit. I tried, but cannot send you a green star at this time. I feel that whatever makes a person feel better about himself, the people and the world around him, is a good thing. But what one feels right for one, is not right for all. There is no such thing as THE PERFECT religion. Whatever religion you may go with, it should all boil down to love, peace and togetherness to make this world a better place to live, not just for ourselves, but for future generations to come.
 

. (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 1:30 pm
I stopped having imaginary friends @ 14, deities included
 

John S. (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 5:09 pm
Just like there are diff types of Muslems, there are also diff types of Christians. Though, the Bible teaches that only one group is truly christian, truly representative of christ Jesus himself and his Gospal, and they have always been hated, as christ himself was hated. No one listens to them. They are Bible scripture readers, and being that scripture is spiritual, alive, it can only be interpreted by the "Holy Spirit" to true believers, otherwise it is foolishness to unbelivers. Scripture teaches us about a the 1st pagan religion Babylon & her great transformation into faux christianity, a respected world wide political and religeous powerhouse and leader, with many daughters of every christian denomination. She is called Mystery Babylon, The Great Harlot (whore) church, and she is christian. She misleads the entire world with her false teachings, that are not of God. She exist today, in her own soveriegn country, (religion and state) and it's she that the whole world respects, though in truth she is responsible for most every war on earth, including the Inquizition. She onced reigned supreme over all of Europe, and was wounded, but she is rising again, and soon will rule over the entire earth, and another inquizition will happen, and bible readers will be killed, then whomever stands in her way. Blame her for all that's wrong on earth, she works in secret.
 

Frank S. (461)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 6:36 pm
God is eternal life, love and mercy! There is a day coming, in the life of every believer along with everyone else whom believes otherwise. On that day, no one can escape their demise. It will be then that each one of us will find out individually for ourselves that God exists! I know I have been privileged to find out that without a doubt God exists. With this said I can only say to those whom do not believe in God, that they are in for a big surprise when that particular day arrives for them. Sometimes I wonder why he allows certain people “to see him and his arch-rival at work in the world, “while yet others see nothing. I believe that anyone can know God exists, if they really want to, just like anyone can know that evil exists, if they want to, since even the little birds know, and sing to him every day!

 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 7:20 pm
Frank, you're delusional. You are the one that's in for a big surprise.
 

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 7:35 pm
Actually, MJ M., Frank will likely not be surprised or anything else on his faithful day if the hard core atheists are right. On the other hand though if the agnostic atheists are right then he will finally learn the truth that there is no god, but there is a spiritual world that exist beyond death.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 8:01 pm
BTW Frank, I can speak on this issue in a way that most can't. You see, I died and came back. I can tell you for certain, there ain't nothin' there. So, Ralph, I suppose that makes your former hypothesis the correct of the two.
 

Frank S. (461)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 8:39 pm
@ MJM: Your comment of "my being delusional" speaks volumes about how immature you are and also about your lack of real knowledge! Anyone who has true knowledge does not have to throw a childish fit and call people names!

@Ralph R Sutton: How can you say that there is a spiritual world that exists beyond death? Yet at the same time, you time deny the existence of a spiritual being such as God? That is a big contradiction.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 8:51 pm
I'd have to say it was believing in fairy tales and non-existant beings that makes someone immature. Delusional is a state of being, not a 'name'. Talk about childish. Get real, Frank
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 8:54 pm
There is no mythical god in the sky. So what is your problem?
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 8:58 pm
I don't believe in santa clause, the tooth fairy or the easter bunny either, Frank. I guess these are your definitions of 'real knowledge' also.
 

Alicia N. (87)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 9:01 pm
noted
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 13, 2011, 9:04 pm
How Atheism Can Make the World Better By Tearing Down Religious Irrationality

Good Without God: Why "Non-Religious" Is the Fastest-Growing Preference in America
 

Marianna molnar woods (9)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 3:13 am
KIT B. IM SO SORRY A BOUT YOUR AGNOSTIC VIEW. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT ONE DAY YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF FAITH MANY JUST DREAM ABOUT. YES, GOD IS REAL AND HE AND JESUS WILL REVEAL THEMSELVES AT THE SECOND COMING. YOU WILL BE AT AWE THEN, I JUST HOPE IT WONT BE TOO LATE FOR YOU.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 3:24 am
"YES, GOD IS REAL AND HE AND JESUS WILL REVEAL THEMSELVES [?] AT THE SECOND COMING....How manty jesus' are there?
 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 6:08 am
We always have a subjective reality, and an objective reality, and these are usually quite different, to varying degrees with different people, unless someone is in a state of enlightenment, whereas someone's subjective reality is totally fused and in harmony with the objective reality of how life truly functions.

And, sometimes the subjective reality can be immensely different from the objective reality, whereas people need to be on medication for the rest of their lives, just to make them relatively safe for the rest of society.

The scary thing is that people base their lives on their subjective reality, no matter how removed from reality it truly is. For example, if some believes that their God told them to kill their own babies, then that is quite likely what they will do. Or if someone believes the world is coming to an end because they hear voices, which they think are coming from some God, then they will act as if the world is ending on such and such a date, etc...

And, very sadly, all the rationing, all the scientific proof, all the common sense, all the wisdom, all the dialog, etc… won’t make the slightest bit of difference to those people who are hell bent on believing the way they do, based on their fear, guilt, or whatever.

On the other hand, there are those who freely acknowledge that they aren’t sure what their beliefs are, whether there is some sort of God, or not, and it is these people with an open mind, a thinking brain, that dialog can be most rewarding for everyone involved. It is these people who ask the sincere questions, coming from a seeking mind, that can encourage everyone to look deeper for what the objective reality truly is.
Wishing everyone progress on their path to absolutely happiness, and their own enlightenment, and a most wonderful upcoming Holiday Season, filled with good friends, good food, and a most loving, peaceful, happy, caring, understanding, compassionate heart, Eddie
 

Ruth S. (298)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 7:10 am
If people don't believe in God its because of others lying to them about God.

Some people use God as a front so that they can take Money from others!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:37 am
Marianna B M, you can take that self righteous, sanctimonious BS somewhere else. People like you make me sick, forcing your beliefs on others. You are the perfect example of what’s wrong in this world. I’d tell you what I really think of you if I thought any of it would sink in. Suffice it to say, I find you and your like utterly disgusting. Why do you self righteous jerks insist on spreading your delusions to others? Do you get some kind of obscene pleasure from thinking you are better than free thinking humans? How ironic it is that the ones that would force their beliefs on others are really the lowest forms of life.
 

Frank S. (461)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:42 am
@ MJM: What is your problem? I do not understand just why are you so angry that others choose to believe in God? This is a free country and anyone can believe any way they choose! You can freely choose to believe that your ancestor was a lizard if you wish and I am not opposed to it, because that is your business! Just as I can freely choose to believe that God is real for me and the architect of everything that exists, because it is my business! I once met a young man at an orthopedic clinic who had been in a motorcycle accident, he told me a story about being conscious and meeting a being who told him “that it was not his time.” He told me, that he then became conscious when they were shocking his heart back to beating. This young man was not some hard core Christian believer and his physical body was in pretty bad shape. Also, his wife backed up his story entirely.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:45 am
What is YOUR problem, Frank? Believe whatever the hell you want. Just STOP forcing those beliefs on others!
 

Frank S. (461)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 9:07 am

@MJM:Now who is the one that sounds delusional? To force someone to do something is to make someone do something against their will! You and I have freedom of choice! Now I might have given consideration to your argument if we were in a country where we could be executed for our belief or unbelief, but my God MJM, we live in the United States of America! By the way no pun intended!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 9:13 am
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. ... Albert Einstein


 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 9:21 am
Frank, you folks are a 'sorry lot indeed'. At least according to Einstein. Something you don't seem to understand, Frank...I don't point this fact out until you god freaks get in my face and start spewing your self righteous, sanctimonious bull crap.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 9:22 am
Oh Boy here we go...again
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 11:28 am

Marianna, thank you for your sympathy, it is totally unwarranted and most assuredly unasked for. It is, however the perfect example of why so many are turning away from constructed religions. If you knew and understood history, then you would clearly understand why the framers of our constitution gave a freedom of religious choice, though factually most of these men were not, in modern use of the word, religious. These were men that actually knew their own history and the history of the world. They knew the wars, the indiscriminate killing and torture that was an inherent part of man's pursuit of redemption in the eyes of god.

As Americans we are rapidly losing site of the need for a full separation of religion and government, and that will lead us even further on a dangerous path.

When one presumes they are all knowing and gain that knowledge from a deity, they are therefore, elevating their own beliefs above the rights of others. Consider where that has lead mankind over, and over through out history. Take some time to read about the Inquisition, the buying and selling of Papal dispensations, the Reformation, the Cromwellian years. Or just read about the cruelty imposed by Puritans on one another. Our country was indeed, settled in the earliest years, by those fleeing religious persecution, once here, they found it a handy tool for power over others.

Read the article or don't, believe in god or do not, it must all be personal choices. If it is not a personal choice and then it has no deeper meaning. Humanists, or atheist have no desire to save or convert anyone to their own beliefs, they desire only to treat and be treated with fairness and respect.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 11:51 am
Many stars for you Kit.
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:21 pm
How can anyone help but be undecided? Scientists are now studying the theory that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure painted on the edge of a three-dimensional hologram. If one knows enough to proclaim themselves an atheist then they surely must comprehend this theory.

 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:30 pm
Frank, --- I certainly have no problem with people being of whatever religion they want, and I deeply feel respect is in order at all times. At the same time, however, I do have a major problem in people pushing their religion on other people, which is immensely disrespectful. If someone's interested in my spiritual beliefs, I am very happy to share with them, but I never: push, guilt, coerce, or pressure people in any way to believe as I choose to do.

And, religion absolutely needs to be kept separate from the State. For one, people promoting prayer in church are never promoting equal respect among all the varying prayers that people would like to offer. It is always the “Christians” who want JUST THEIR PRAYERS to be said. They never say that Islamic, or Atheists, or Mormon, or even Native American type prayers should be allowed to be offered. How immensely arrogant and disrespectful and unfair is that, and yet some Christians are generally immensely insensitive to that. They just want to push their beliefs on others at all costs.

And, lastly, religion absolutely needs to be kept out of schools, where it often times conflicts with what science has proven to be true, beyond a doubt. The concept of “Creationism” has no proof what-so-ever. And, in fact, there is tremendous scientific proof that the universe was NOT created 6,000 years ago, by some God waving some magic wand or whatever.

Science has proven over and over again that all life evolves. This is objective reality, and should not be muddied up with numerous imaginations as to how life functions. Many people have almost unlimited beliefs, that aren’t supported by science, as to how things come about, or what their future is. Should people who believe that the earth is going to end on one date, or another, have that belief taught as fact in our schools? Should people who believe the Stork is responsible for babies be allowed to teach that as fact in our schools? Absolutely not, as science is based on fact, not superstitions or imaginary Gods or Goddesses.

But, again, people have the right to believe in whatever they choose, even the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, or whatever.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:36 pm
"Religion absolutely needs to be kept out of schools, where it often times conflicts with what science has proven to be true, beyond a doubt"... Many stars for Eddie!..
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:40 pm

I'm afraid in the current environment, young people are far more prepared for the stork then the reality of how their own sexuality functions.
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 12:45 pm
What about school sex education classes? Surely they must be having an effect.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 1:03 pm
I have no doubt that school sex education classes are very effective and memorable. Especialy those given by paedophile priests?...Kids don't need religion, they need education 2012 AD style not 2012 BC style.!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 1:28 pm
Wow, Lilith! ... are you aware that we live in a multiverse, where there exists an endless number of Liliths, some trolls, some of whom are actually real people? I'm just curious how the 12 dimensions that Superstring theory predicts, explains the existence of the trolls that permeate the multiverse, and more so Care2. Tell me Lilith, why do you exist one way in this universe, and completely differently in others?
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 2:27 pm
Well Sacha, what kind of people do you have teaching sex education up north anyway?

Holy smoke MJM you live in a multiverse? The rest of us live in this universe with other universes around, some as close as the nose on your face. You must be pretty strung out living in multiple universes.
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 2:57 pm
Kudos to you Kit as once again you with level-headed skill guide the ship through the rough waters. Everyone should admire how valuable those who can do this are in Care2.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 3:11 pm
So true, Ken. I was just telling Kit how much I admired her patience and skills with diplomacy. We really are lucky to have someone like her here on C2.
 

Kamila A. (141)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 5:55 pm
I was terrified of offending the God they told me was keeping record of everything i said, did, and thought. I realized at about 12 yrs old that i was doomed! Then, at about 15 i decided that these were false teachings and gave up on him. Then, when i was in crisis, miracles began to shift me to wonder. Then, in 1989, i was shown things by what i could only say were from God, who i did not trust till things starting unfolding in ways that were personally, amazingly bestowed upon me. I was led, the only appropriate term for it, to understand Spirit (a more worthy term) in gentler, vaster, more beautiful ways than i could have believed.
My personal experience is knowing that Truth is far more amazing and compassionate, loving, merciful than the old, nonsensical religious teachings can even approach. My hope is to help connect the dots for those who have some sense of something bigger, because i know there is, no doubts.
 

Frank S. (461)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 6:02 pm
I fully believe in the separation of church and state, however the supernatural of today, may well become the scientific fact of tomorrow. When the cave men saw the first fire they thought it was supernatural. If you were to bring ancient peoples from the past to our place in time most of them would be in shock at the many technological marvels of today. I believe in science just as much as the next guy and I am close to finishing up on three college degrees of my own. But I also do acknowledge that God exists, because if not for him I would have already been dead five times at least! A car accident in which the car was completely totaled, three major construction accidents, and that is apart from all the many dangerous incidents and situations experienced growing up in the hood. Many of the people and friends I grew up with were not so fortunate and many are dead because of the lifestyle choices they chose to make. Like this one young friend of mine who was at a bar after work and dropped dead from drinking too much as soon as he walked out of the front door! So I thank God every day for his love and mercy. But like I said this is a personal choice, as everyone will know the truth regardless of what you or I believe in when death comes knocking at ones door!
 

Frank S. (461)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 6:42 pm
One last thing, I truly fail to see what is so exciting and alluring about not believing in God. For example non-believers seem to think that once your time comes you just make one big splat or whimper and that’s it, you’re gone. Completely brain dead, no more thinking, no more anything! How much more boring can you get? At least believers in God believe in a consciousness after death, and actually a whole brand new life, without sadness, pain, suffering, and being reunited with your loved ones forever. At least we believers have a beautiful hope, but non-believers have nothing, zilch, nada! Nah I think I’ll throw in my lot with the believers!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 6:53 pm
Frank, you sure have one twisted view of reality that goes way beyond your worship of an invisible non-being.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 7:07 pm
That's rich, Frank...now you're admitting that your fantasies come about because it's less boring. You poor bast....
 

Ruth R. (216)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 7:21 pm
I am not undecided. I have read most of the New Testament and relatively long ago studied the other religions, so I see through and give all the Glory to God -- The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. It is about a relationship with the Creator as Jesus is the way the truth and the light, and not a religion so much. Religion is a set of rituals that help the man, women, or child, reach toward and attain a relationship with the creator. People are capable of talking to or with the creator through the names such as Jesus, Son of God, Jesua, and other names.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 7:35 pm
Frank and Ruth, where does your god come from?
 

Quinton Smith (40)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:09 pm
God is in onces soul you do no harm to man or animal you help a man or animal you love all what mother nature has put in front of you an take care of it what she has given i.e the earth an all which lives on it then you have god in your heart an peace in you soul "THAT'S GOD" AN GOD HAS NO NAME JUST A GOOD WARM FEELING INSIDE OF YOU WANT YOU DO A KIND DEED TO ALL AROUND YOU. =^..^=
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:14 pm
MJM - If you've got all the answers why don't you fill us in. Why carry on experiments at Cern when the world has you. Correction - multiuniverses.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:26 pm
MJ M. -- I totally agree, Kit is awesome and we're very fortunate to have her as such a wonderful voice of sanity, reason, and committment. Thank you Kit for all you do.
 

Kamila A. (141)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:34 pm
Its best to allow everyone their freedom to choose how they believe and not to mock, belittle, or manipulate them because that is simply a higher way of being on this one planet, sharing the same resources, needing love, and relationship, under the same sun. Personal happiness comes from openining the heart, whether you believe or not. I don't think it matters if you believe in God as much as living with a generous and caring heart for everyone.....no exceptions (and that is a simple truth, but a hard one to hold sometimes!)
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 14, 2011, 8:34 pm
Lilith, since you have none of the answers, why don't you shut the hell up?
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (281)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 12:31 am
I THINK THIS IS A WORLD WIDE EPIDEMIC NOT JUST IN THE U>S
 

ewoud k. (73)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 2:32 am
Religion was invented long time ago to
-explain the inexplainable
-set regulations for society
-give -through mysticism- power to a happy few.

Looking objectively at christianism -or any other, "modern", religion- there's no reason to make a distinction between these "modern" religions and, as done above, the ancient Greek's religion around Zeus and others.

As more and more of the earlier unexplainable is now explained by science, it is understandable that people have less reason to believe in a god, apparently there's no-one up there playing with us, his toys. "Everyday life" therefore can do without religion, there's just the amazement, result of man's desire to be able to control everything, about the very beginning, what was there before the Big Bang? But GOP-candidates' prayers don't have much to do with that, more with the other two points.

Society no longer needs the ancient rules common to most religions, like "thou shall not kill" and the other nine, or more, or less, depends on the religion, as laws and other "private" rules of modern'day society have replaced them, and are working -rather- well.

Rests the power that the happy few wants to keep, the power, the wealth and the respect, with nothing much more for the people than just life. In this the roman catholic church succeeds quite well, and as it looks, the islamic clergy is doing quite well also. In the US the GOP uses the same structure, being structured around christian ideas and faith, with lots of rallying by churches: if you're in line with mainstream American (christian) faith, you can do well in polls and elections, see all the ink spent on Obama and his belief. Even after all these years the ideas of the early setttlers, close to what the Amish believe now as far as the protestants -the majority of American christians- are concerned, That's why the GOP candidates, and the Dems as well!, are so anxious to have a basic, faithfull-christian image.

Christianism is still well-organised in the US, and to break this structure will be hard. In a way the US are not that different from the arab countries: Tunesia, Lybia, Egypt, the old power-structures have been broken down, but religion is still there, and those in power now are those who can rely on religious structures to stay in power, now that they've gained it. And we're in 2011 now, the age of the internet, with not much to explain left....

But say you're an atheist, or, as some say, an unbeliever..... don't even present yourself.
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 5:28 am
MJM, I see, you don't mind confronting but you don't like to be confronted. Stop confronting people about their religion. It's none of your business and you should busy yourself with other things like what it's like buzzung around in parallel universes.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:55 am
Question, Lilith/Hans/Paul, and all of the other indentities you've used...how many people does it make now that have called you out for the troll you are? If you follow your past M.O, you'll be dumping the 'Lilith' identity fairly soon. I've heard from C2 that your days are numbered. They are on to you. That disney icon has gotten you a fair bit of mileage, hasn't it.? I have to admit, I'm curious to what kind of identity you will adopt next.
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:05 am
Well, to continue to make this interesting, Frank says: "non-believers seem to think that once your time comes you just make one big splat or whimper and that’s it, you’re gone".
Immediately he puts it into a 'non-beleivers' category, and that just means to him no God and probably more precisely no Christian God. And granted there are some who think there is nothing after you die, you are just one more lifeless lump of detritus like every other physical thing. However, not everyone thinks you need a God to yet be a spiritual being yourself who is NOT their body (which obviously dies), and continues after the body death. Lots of ways to look at it, not just one way necessarily Frank.
 

Frank S. (461)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:19 am
MJM, my opinion is that your nonsensical philosophy of no life after death is exactly that, nonsense! In your concept of eternal death, who in their right mind would want to be eternally brain dead after death? Like I said before MJM, those who believe that God exists have hope, and I along with millions of others fully intend to take advantage of his promises. But as far as you are concerned, I may as well go out and try to have an intellectual conversation with a jackass! All you have contributed to this discussion is, growl, snarl, hiss, and curse, along with dishing out insulting comments to anyone who has an opposing viewpoint. You may think you look cool, but the only thing you are showing me is that your ideas, arguments, as well as logic and beliefs about there being no life after death, are based in my opinion, solely upon utter nonsense!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:30 am
I'm sorry Frank, but the irony becomes unbearable when you use phrases like, '..who in their right mind...'
 

Frank S. (461)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:55 am
How interesting, that when it concerns their own death atheists react differently as shown in a controlled study, than when they are thinking about someone else’s death, hmm?

Do Atheists Implicitly Believe in God and Life After Death?
Atheism and implicit belief in the Supernatural
Published on May 5, 2011 by Nathan A. Heflick in The Big Questions

“So, if you asked atheists, they wouldn't say that they believe in life after death or God (I have and they don't). But, if the study taps into more implicit, subconscious attitudes, then atheists show atittudinal and behavioral responses that are very suggestive of them believing in God and life after death.”- psychologytoday.com

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-big-questions/201105/do-atheists-implicitly-believe-in-god-and-life-after-death
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 8:57 am
"nonsensical philosophy of no life after death" - Is there life after death? - Now who is being nonsensical? We have one life, it is here and now, if you can prove otherwise please do so.
 

Elvina A. (92)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 9:15 am
"Apparently, a growing number of Americans are running from organized religion, but by no means running from God." Now this was some nice news!
 

Lilith Cohen (202)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:25 am
Your conclusion Sacha is that the multiverse is a completely random happening? It would be very interesting to hear about how you arrived at that conclusion.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:26 am
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." [Einstein]

"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

How Atheism Can Make the World Better By Tearing Down Religious Irrationality

How Fundamentalist Religion Is Destroying the World

Goodbye Religion? How Godlessness Is Increasing With Each New Generation

No, Atheists Don't Have to Show "Respect" for Religion

 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:31 am

The reason most if not all scientists believe there is life similar to ours on other planets is because the elements of life are contained within the sun. Suns with orbiting planets are numerous within the vast universe. As for life after death, there is no way of proving or disproving that concept. What we do know is that once a body ceases to live there is no evidence of that life being anything more than part of the cycle of life. When one considers the very long time line of man or humans on this planet, the idea of after life is a fairly recent one. It is therefore, a belief system and neither right or wrong. Those people that I know, who have chosen to be non-believers, have come to these conclusions from study of religion, history, archaeology, paleontology and cosmology. They are individual conclusions and those who have differing ideas are no more right or wrong. This article addresses that element within society that feels unsure of where they stand, feels that structured religion does not have answers that suit their life. Each of us can read the same material and come to differing conclusions. The vital aspect here is to accept those concepts can be differing and respect the oppositional ideas. What does none of us any good, is for those who so sure that only they have THE answers, to not attempt to advance their thinking or beliefs on one another. One the greatest problems that religion faces among those who stand in question or in opposition is that of attempted proselytizing of those who think differently or have come to their own conclusions.

Frank, though I respect your right to believe as you chose, I assure you I lose no sleep wondering what will become of me once I am dead.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:33 am

Thanks M JM, excellent resources.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:38 am

To Kenneth's point; indeed there are many differing philosophies that address the ideas of after life. One is that once energy is created, by any means, it will continue to exist. What happens to that energy of life, whether it is the energy from an ant or a human is not known, therefore even more interesting to contemplate.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 10:41 am
Your conclusion, Lilith, is that anything you say has any relevance, and that anyone listening actually cares. It would be very interesting to hear how you arrived at such a flawed conclusion.

In other words, what makes you think anyone gives a damn?
 

Catherine O Neill (73)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 11:00 am
I am Catholic & I believe in God that's my decision.I don't care what others think or feel about it.I don't cram my beliefs down others throats so don't cram your dis-beliefs down mine ok
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 11:04 am

Actually Frank, the brain scans that atheist do not react in that way. When very religious or those who use deep mediation are tested by asking them to concentrate on god they show a lighting up of the parietal lobes. When the same question is posed to an atheist the same reactions are not seen. They do not have the same conceptual ideas of god as those who are deeply religious or those who use prayer. Ask them to concentrate on ideas or concepts that are of deeper meaning to the atheist, then too their parietal lobes will be highlighted.

This is of course, is just skimming the surface of much larger and on going study.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 11:06 am

Catherine, did you read the article? No one is trying to shove any thing at you, only offering an opportunity for civil discourse.
 

Frank S. (461)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 4:12 pm
So I guess no unbelievers, will be celebrating the birthday of Christ this Christmas?
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 4:42 pm
Frank, are you aware of what Christmas has become.? Even you believers have commercialized the hell out of the holiday. Do you even have a clue?
 

Frank S. (461)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 4:51 pm
Please MJM, you bore the living Hell out of me,with your childish drivel,pun intended!
 

Frank S. (461)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 4:57 pm
With all due respect Kit, I offered my opinion upon Gods existence mostly from my own personal experimentation. Beginning at the rebellious age of 16 and continuing my exploration for over 30 years. I wanted to find out the truth about the existence or nonexistence of God. What I found at the end, was nothing less than astounding, but I also paid a high price to find out the truth on this matter, as you cannot play with fire without getting burned. This kind of evidence is not quantifiable since it comes from personal experience which cannot be independently verified. But the things I experienced made such a powerful expression upon me that I know deep within me that for me, God does exist, without a doubt. Like I’ve said before, I do not know why to some people certain things are revealed and to others nothing is revealed. That is one mystery which I will not endeavor to explain, for to that I do not know the answer. This is my last post on the subject as this can continue endlessly, and i have to get back to working on my textbooks instead of wasting time chit chatting endlessly with MJM, cause that will never get me anywhere! LOL!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 5:15 pm
Frank, that's a GOOD thing, right? Anyway you can get that Hell out of you, yes? You're welcome. Maybe I should get into the Preacher business. Fire and brimstone, hell and damnation...all that crap.
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 6:41 pm
The truth is very simple - There is no god and if anyone can prove otherwise please do so.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Thursday December 15, 2011, 9:13 pm
Let's unite together, as a world family, for the sake of respect, trust, understanding, equality, fairness, honesty, love, consideration, so very much more, and especially sanity. What matters most is the heart!


Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda
Friday, December 16, 2011:

Outward appearance is not important—what counts is what is inside our hearts. Are there heart-to-heart bonds? Some families may always be together physically but are estranged at heart. Some families can only get together for brief periods but manage to enjoy concentrated and lively heart-to-heart communication when they do meet. Families that share bonds of closeness based on day-to-day efforts are ones in which the members feel comfortable and at ease with each other, no matter where they are or what they're doing.

http://sgi-usa.org/encouragement/
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Friday December 16, 2011, 1:39 am
Agreed Eddie.

It is easy to prove to yourself that God is imaginary. The evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs:

Try praying

Statistically analyze prayer

Look at all historical gods

Think about science

Read the Bible

Ponder God's plan

Understand religious delusion

Think about Near Death Experiences

Understand ambiguity

Watch the offering plate

Notice that there is no scientific evidence

See the magic

Take a look at slavery

Examine Jesus' miracles

Examine Jesus' resurrection

Contemplate the contradictions

Think about Leprechauns

Imagine heaven

Notice that you ignore Jesus

Notice your church

Understand Jesus' core message

Count all the people God wants to murder

Listen to the Doxology

Ask why religion causes so many problems

Understand evolution and abiogenesis

Notice that the Bible's author is not "all-knowing"

Think about life after death

Notice how many gods you reject

Think about communion

Examine God's sexism

Understand that religion is superstition

Talk to a theologian

Contemplate the crucifixion

Examine your health insurance policy

Notice Jesus' myopia

Realize that God is impossible

Think about DNA

Contemplate the divorce rate among Christians

Realize that Jesus was a jerk

Understand Christian motivations

Flip a coin

Listen when "God talks"

Realize that a "hidden God" is impossible

Think about a Christian housewife

Consider Noah's Ark

Ponder Pascal's Wager

Contemplate Creation

Compare prayer to a lucky horseshoe

Look at who speaks for God

Ask Jesus to appear
 

Kenneth L. (314)
Friday December 16, 2011, 5:43 am
Frank: "But the things I experienced made such a powerful expression upon me that I know deep within me that for me, God does exist, without a doubt".
Good. Except you should be able to see that others can also experience things that are powerful expressions to them, and that for them THOSE things are real and true for them. A truth to be seen here is that what is true is what is true for each person and what each person themselves have observed or experienced.
Frank "Like I’ve said before, I do not know why to some people certain things are revealed and to others nothing is revealed." When you add this however you are biased by looking at it from your own personal Christian viewpoint. LOTS of things are 'revealed', (which is not the right word, 'realized' or 'known' is a better one), to others and none of them have to agree or fit with your 'revelations' in order to be valid.


 

Past Member (0)
Friday December 16, 2011, 7:01 am
How We All Pay For the Huge Tax Privileges Granted to Religion -- It's Time to Tax the Church

'By some estimates, the property tax exemption alone removes $100 billion in property from U.S. tax rolls, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.'

 

Kit B. (276)
Friday December 16, 2011, 7:50 am

I agree with that churches should be taxed, on the other hand, I worry that by taxing them we give the nod for them to become a part of the functioning government. As long as they use those tax-free dollars for nothing more then tending to the sick and needy, that's great work. Unfortunately, whether the parishioners are aware or not, much of that money is currently being poured into campaign finance, and that should be taxed.

Kenneth, you are so correct. Each of us will view our personal experiences through a different lens. For some striking events will be the hand of god, others will see the same event in an entirely different way. A great deal of this, I think comes from our individual backgrounds and influences.
 

Frank S. (461)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 5:53 pm
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

"I want to know God's thoughts...the rest are details." - Albert Einstein

"There remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion." - Albert Einstein

"Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player." - Albert Einstein

 

Barbara DeFratis (21)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:18 pm
Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ, but not the "Religious Right". I believe that others have as much right to disagree with me, as I do with others.
 

Frank S. (461)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:22 pm
@ Kenneth L.
Thursday December 15, 2011, 7:05 am

“Well, to continue to make this interesting, Frank says: "non-believers seem to think that once your time comes you just make one big splat or whimper and that’s it, you’re gone".
Immediately he puts it into a 'non-beleivers' category, and that just means to him no God and probably more precisely no Christian God. And granted there are some who think there is nothing after you die, you are just one more lifeless lump of detritus like every other physical thing. However, not everyone thinks you need a God to yet be a spiritual being yourself who is NOT their body (which obviously dies), and continues after the body death. Lots of ways to look at it, not just one way necessarily Frank..”- Kenneth L.

No straddling the fence Kenneth! Most atheists believe all life ends at death! And most also do not believe in the supernatural and in religions, which imply life after death. So are you saying that you are a pseudo nonbeliever?

 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:26 pm
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity...and I'm not sure about the universe.
— Albert Einstein

Think about it Frank.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:29 pm
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." [Einstein]

'Feeble souls' Frank. Are you afraid of the dark?
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:44 pm
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever -- this is a somewhat new kind of religion.

- Albert Einstein

Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.

- Albert Einstein

 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 7:55 pm
Science can only determine what is, but not what shall be, and beyond its realm, value judgements remain indispensable. Religion, on the other hand, is concerned only with evaluating human thought and actions; it is not qualified to speak of real facts and the relationships between them.

- Albert Einstein

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his [sic] creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious ourselves.

- Albert Einstein
 

Sacha Jones (18)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 9:33 pm
Why are Americans undecided about god when there is no god? - There is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of god, gods or the supernatural...Amazing brainwashed, not freethinking, Americans!
 
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