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BREAKING NEWS: There is no God.
11:01 AM on 01/21/2012
And in other news:

"After surviving an attack from an angry mob, an Indonesian atheist is facing jail time for posting the phrase 'God doesn't exist' on his Facebook page.

"The man, who is being identified only as Alexander, posted the message on the social networking site and was later reported to authorities by the Indonesian Council of Ulema, an Islamic religious authority, according to the Telegraph.

"Alexander arrived for work at a government office Wednesday, where he was met and attacked by a mob of people upset by his beliefs.

"He was arrested on Friday and charged with blasphemy against Islam, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail."
03:33 PM on 01/21/2012
"James Lee took hostages at the Maryland headquarters of the Discovery Channel, made some demands, and was shot dead by police. He was also a human trafficker. According to his MySpace page, he was also an atheist."

And your point is?
Doug Sandlin
06:47 PM on 01/21/2012
If you're going for the "anecdotal example" approach .... you've got a long way to go.

The majority of humans on the planet follow one religion or another, and the vast majority of them are peaceful, regular people.

Some governments have unfair laws related to religion and/or free speech, by the standards of other societies.

Other governments are supportive of religious diversity.

The bottom line is: people are individual, everyone interprets religion individually.

Many people interpret religion in problematic ways.

Many people interpret religion is beneficial ways.

Many people interpret religion in socially-neutral ways.

As an atheist myself, I don't see religion as the problem; I see rigid adherence to ideas as the problem, regardless of whether those ideas are religious, anti-religious, or of any other type.
09:20 AM on 01/21/2012
Love it, what a great article. People of faith overwhelmingly want to do the right thing. As a lifelong student of religion I am always amazed how similar are the ways that people of faith, regardless of religion, want to act and conduct themselves in the world.
David Briggs
12:05 PM on 01/21/2012
Thank you, Jim, for sharing your observation based on your studies and experience.
02:48 PM on 01/21/2012
Why are you cherry picking comments to reply to? Have you found no negative constructive criticisms to reply to? Are you avoiding explaining yourself more fully? What is the point of replying if it's only to acknowledge pats on the back?
09:01 AM on 01/21/2012
"Faith" means believing in ideas and entities whose validity and existence are not supported by reason or substantial evidence. In essence it's just taking the word of some people who claim that reality is very different from everything we have been able to learn from our own reasoning ability, from science and from historical evidence. That's what makes religion so dangerous and destructive -- it's an invitation to walk down the primrose path of illogical thinking and fanatical beliefs. What amazes me is that many people still celebrate this strange world view.
03:57 PM on 01/21/2012
Faith is believing in things which are not seen, which are true. Just because YOU haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't true. Other people have seen a human heart and claim they exist. I haven't seen mine but I have enough evidence that I can trust their word. I feel my heart beating inside of me and that is enough for me. Prophets have claimed to see God. I haven't seen God since my birth to the earth, but I feel Him near when I pray. There is something in me that wants to believe He is there, just as I feel my heart beating and want to believe that I have a heart, just like those trusted scientists say. The thing is, there are so many religions that preach a few different ideas about God. There is a reason for this and it is explained nicely on and
06:49 PM on 01/21/2012
You don't have to believe in religion or God, but to put much faith in science is dangerous as well. Science is evolving and changing all the time and science has disproved it's theories many times. Thalidomide and radiation tx of acne come to mind. It makes me laugh when people are so condescending toward those who have religious beliefs and yet they put their faith in science!