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Joe Cannon: God watches over the universe; he 'is not dead nor doth he sleep'

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  • Duff
    June 28, 2009 4:38 a.m.

    If god created the universe, I assume he did it for us to inhabit. If so, why did he create so much of it. It seems we are going to have a difficult time inhabiting all those planets in just our galaxy with its hundred or so billion stars, let alone the hundreds of billions of other galaxies he created. Such wastefulness.

    But then again, you can't explain who created god, so you're back to square one. So much for your logic.

  • @Duff
    June 28, 2009 7:29 a.m.

    .... and no one can explain who created the first protozoan who 'fathered' all the rest. It is one of the mysteries of life, for believers in God or Darwin.

    Who said, let alone proved, that all planets except our own in our galaxy are uninhabited? Who claimed that all planets are exclusively for habitation, or that they are all to be inhabited at once?

    I do not think that it would take more than a million years ( no time at all in eternity) to inhabit a billion or trillion planets.
    Just double our present, admittedly relatively small, population a billion times and tell me what number you get.

  • Duff
    June 28, 2009 10:20 a.m.

    But when science does explain how the first crystal replicated, and that is happening as we speak, then, where are you going to retreat? Since before Galileo, religionists have nowhere to go but backward into the realm of the unfalsifiable.

    Those who believe those trillions of planets were made for man by a god are like the crazy ruler in ancient Greece who thought all the ships which came into the harbor, came just for his gratification.

  • Chuck
    June 28, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    Excellent series. It does not discount science, but shows the emptiness of only science as a person's explanation for life. God is very much in control, and just because some mere mortal with a few decades of limited experience doesn't understand it all, doesn't lessen that fact.

    Thanks Joe for bringing this discussion forward. It has been off limits in the public for too long.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Religion does a poor job of explaining things that Science can, and things can easily be altered like the bible to fit whatever view you are trying to get people to accept. An example is "In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earths." With a little bit of translation and editing what most Bibles now read "In teh beginning God created the heaven and the earth." That isn't much of a change but it is highly significant.

    At one point there was a greater belief in a plurality of Gods. Today, at least in the US, it seems a belief that there is one God prevails.

    Chuck, from someone else's perspective there is no emptiness in believing only in Science. Your statement shows you lack the cognitive ability to see from someone else's point of view. The purpose of life is still to be happy, whether you believe in a God or not. Please expand your horizons instead of being so gloomy.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    "It does not discount science, but shows the emptiness of only science as a person's explanation for life."

    As an Atheist I love it when people tell me how my beliefs make me feel... I'll go crawl into a corner now and cry, because I'm so miserable. *rolls eyes*

  • Perspective
    June 28, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    I received this joke via EMail years ago and believe it might have a place in this discussion:

    A group of self-congratulatory scientists were talking among themselves and boasting about how their scientific methods were so advanced they could now create human beings, just like God, even better than God. They were very anxious to prove to the world that science was greater than God and that God was totally irrelevant. After talking about the best way to prove that God was unnecessary to mankind, they decided to challenge God to a contest in front of the peoples of the world to prove who could create the best human. God calmly accepted the challenge.

    The day of the contest came and the scientists eagerly went first, sure of their ultimate triumph. One knelt to gather up a fistful of dust with which to create a human.

    God said, Oh no, no, noget your own dirt.

  • Lew Jeppson
    June 28, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    Mr Cannon, I think you see only part of the picture. The most significant development of the 19th century was the rise of the self-regulating market, which created unprecedented technological development and accumulation of wealth, but which also made labor (e.g. people) into a commodity. This is the riddle with which we deal today. How will the Gospel make people less of a commodity?

  • @Joe
    June 28, 2009 11:33 a.m.

    I enjoyed this article and your series immensely. They were well reasoned and written.

    Those who cling to science and the physical exclusively do not understand that the spirit precedes the physical. Because they have the cart before the horse, they will always come up short in their analysis and understanding.

    Ironically, now that science has discovered the invisible world from the sub atomic level to the outer galaxies, many still refuse to consider the unseen but very real world of the Spirit and dismiss the testimony of millions who have felt its powerful influence.

  • Mike Richards
    June 28, 2009 11:38 a.m.

    This series has been of great worth. Mr. Cannon has provided all of us with enough material to keep us busy for a long time to come - unless we already know it all and are beyond being teachable.

    There are two classes of individuals who are not popular with God, the proud and "they that do wickedly". Who is a proud person? Could it be someone who thinks he knows it all, when he knows almost nothing? Who is a wicked person? Is it someone who is in open rebellion against greater knowledge, someone who knows better, but chooses to live counter to that knowledge?

    Knowing the science of HOW God does something would be interesting, but of little real value because His abilities, His "tools", and His methods would be beyond our ability to replicate.

    Knowing the religion of WHY God does something has value. If we begin to understand why He gave us life, why He gave us a place to live and why He gives us rules that we may govern ourselves using His methods and His pattern, we may just find a way to improve ouselves while helping others carry their own burdens.

  • SS
    June 28, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    Lew, I'm with you on this one. In the company I work for, which is owned by Episcopalians, there is a blessing on the wall from the day the company was opened. One passage says something to the effect that may the employer and the employees work together for their mutual benefit.

    Our company pays a little more than the competition and expects a little more in return. We promote almost exclusively from within and turnover is low.

    I think they ARE following gospel teachings and I don't feel like a commodity - I feel valued. Now not everyone can make six figures in the company, but they are receiving the experience and training to make a good living - either by advancement with us or going somewhere else if the opportunity presents itself.

    I believe this is how it's supposed to work. If only more employers treated their workers as valuable assets and if only more employees gave their employers 100% rather than expect payment for every tiny act and a blind eye to their endless personal calls and surfing the internet on company time.

  • C almond
    June 28, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    I find it ironic the conflicting views religious people take towards scientists. On one hand I have many times heard it mentioned by Lds people and others, that the true insights of Scientists are from God, 'revealed' through that particular person. Yet scientists are also criticized for their abandonment of god and increasingly materialistic perspective. The most successful and accomplished of all scientists are generally those who are the most atheist in their thinking. Why then would God be continually 'blessing them with insight' into the functioning of the Universe while withholding it from the more religiously minded? It seems ironic indeed that god would choose to 'reveal' so much of his truth to those who most dispute his existence.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    SS | 11:53 a.m. We secularist say:"When you pay minimum wage, you get minimum wage workers."

    "If donkeys had gods, their god's would have long ears."

    We have the endemic person. This is who we are. When my family picked the prophet du jour it was the idea that earth was ending soon and by following they could be god's special people.

    What king of mind set feels unity with imminent endings, damnation and harsh judgments? These are ideas people with depression find magnetic.

    My family overlooked a strange story because they already believed. They were seeking affirmation. They created a god in their image.

  • Duff
    June 28, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    I challenge any of you religious people to name even one piece of knowledge that god has given to mankind that wasn't already available in human society. On the other hand there is not enough space to list the millions of bits of "knowing" made available from science. And I predict with perfect confidence that in the future, all our knowing is going to come from science and none of it from god.

    If there is an omnipotent god directing the affairs of man, he is very stingy with his knowledge.

    Science simply means knowledge. Knowing is what science produces. How can that be wrong or bad in any way?

  • Thanks
    June 28, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    Thank you for your perspective on religious and scientific history and thought through the ages. I plan on referencing your thoughts later on when my history career kicks off.

    I am very glad the Deseret News was willing to publish these great writings summarizing the historical shifts in thought and belief through the ages to explain society as it stands today - an undersanding that seems to have been lost in this modern age of tv and computers and digital music - something that not many people have even thought about - something mostly ignored by the decision-makers in media/academia/politics, who seem to have completely distanced themselves from anything deemed "non-secular (an oxymoron)."

    Having been raised Mormon with the all-encompassing maxim that "the Glory of God is Intelligence, or, in other words, Light and Truth," I believe time will both vindicate the words of the prophets and scientists enlightened from above, and meld both scientific and religious truth into one happy, perfectly-balanced, well-understood at-one-ment, where all truth has its chance to shine brightly, irrespective of the opinions of mankind, who, if we are honest, realize there are many things we do not yet know.

  • Bill S.
    June 28, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    My University degrees provided me with a lot of knowledge of things, but failed to provide me with the meaning and purpose for my life and the life of others. My faith in God provides me with that essential and vital part of life.

  • @Duff
    June 28, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    You issued a challenge. Here is my response for all who are interested.:

    1. The "Word of Wisdom", revealed by God through Joseph Smith, was not had by the world. It came in 1833 and is recorded in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Pick up a copy at a thrift store for about a dollar or so.

    2. The macro-organisation of the planetary systems as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, relating to Fascimilie Number 2 and its Explanation in the Book of Abraham. Yuo'll find it after the Doctrine and Covenants.

    3. The Book of Mormon explains the origin of the former inhabitants of the Americas.

  • Word of Wisdom
    June 28, 2009 2:49 p.m.

    This pronouncement by Joseph Smith was nothing new. People already knew the ill effects of liquor and tobacco.

    As for the origin of ancient Americans, Mormon scientists and geneticists proved they were not from a lost tribe of Israel. Not to mention the archaeologists who have never found evidence for ancient Israelis.

    Egyptologists and linguists easily proved that The Book of Abraham is fiction.

    Blind faith will deceive you.

  • John Gilmore
    June 28, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    Is @duff 2:21 serious?

    I could have made the same three points as an atheist joke.

    Yeah, the word of wisdom came out of thin air.

    Yeah, the pearl of great price and the fascimilies are not complete and proven fabrications.

    Yeah, the native americans came from Jerusalem.

    hehehe.

  • John Gilmore
    June 28, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    I posted a nice comment on this at about 1 in the morning, which the monitors chose not to publish for whatever reason.

    It seems the monitors are perfectly willing to publish my rabid liberal opinions, and yet, they reject my atheistic ones. I honestly don't get it.

    I think this article is timely in that it explains why so many religious people feel we don't have a responsibility as a so-called civilized country to guarantee health care for our citizens. the 22,000 who die yearly in this country because of lack of insurance "are in a better place." And god is in control. He helped in the 1820's and 1830's, and he's still running the show now, so why raise our taxes when all suffering is dictated by him for our benefit?

    Also, global warming, global shwarming. Somebody got a patriarchal blessing recently that promised the second coming before his death...

    Please publish, monitors. Anonymous people come ranting and you publish. I'm not anonymous, I take responsibility for my opinions.

  • THEeyepatch
    June 28, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    I never try to explain the what, who, when, where, about GOD. Unless your a GOD, neither should you. Just enjoy what is offered and live your life in the light, for one day you will meet your maker and hopefully at that moment everything will make sense. Time, Space, Life, Death, who shot JR, just kidding. Go to GOD as a empty glass ready to be filled. People seem to make the uncomplicated complicated and then are disapointed when the truth is revealed. Don't set yourself up for failure.

  • Re: Duff
    June 28, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    Hey Duff,

    Your challenge is one that no one can win, so I'll ignore it. Your closing comment on science and kwowledge is poor logic. Science isn't knowing, but it is asking questions about what you observe. Newton was a great scientist, but Einstein proved some of his stuff wrong. If we assumed scientific explanations couldn't be wrong or at least partially wrong, we would be stuck back with Aristotle. Let's all assume that we can learn more and keep an open mind.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 3:19 p.m.

    I've read about the "Book of Abraham." :-) He didn't use a magic rock and a black hat.

    Why would you translate a book in to a King Jame's favored English and not you contemporary dialect? Why hide plates no one can read? Why hid something with your goal of translating it is to make it public?

    Don't ask questions, I know.

  • Bill
    June 28, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    Would you skeptics explain to me why there is "something" instead of "nothing." Being instead of non-being.

  • RE: Anonymous | 3:19 p.m.
    June 28, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    So you already know about FAITH and testing of your FAITH?

    You already know what a urim and thummim is and how they work?

    Then you should know the answer to one of the important questions:

    WHY ARE WE HERE?

    and you should have heads start on other two:

    WHERE DID WE COME FROM?

    WHERE ARE WE GOING?


    Scinece isn't the beginning and end of truth.

    but only a window to some of the physical aspects of truth,

    science completely ignores and rejects anything, with prejudice, that can NOT be touch by the physical senses and measured.

    AND WORSE, makes up stories, and forces and twists the interpretation of evidence to make it fit a theory,

    not only is that bad science, but closed minded science,

    TO rely on it wholly is to rely on the infallibility of man.




  • @Bill 3:28 pm.
    June 28, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    Good question. This is the only thing religion has going for it in my mind. I was born and raised LDS, graduated seminary, served a mission and married in the temple. After 30 years, I realized I had been lied to and all religion was a sham. Though I am not certain there is no God...your question is the same as mine. Why is there 'anything'?

  • ww
    June 28, 2009 4:14 p.m.

    What about " believing is seeing "? How do scientists and atheists explain human consciousness? Evolution is still theory.

  • @ 4:03
    June 28, 2009 4:26 p.m.

    Had you been listening in Gospel Doctrine, the question "why is there anything" is answered every week in church.
    "...men are that they might have joy". That's one reason why we are here. We don't know the ' whys' of everything, but God's purposes will be revealed to us some day. In the mean time maybe if people prayed about it, they would receive some of the answers they're looking for.

  • CB
    June 28, 2009 4:36 p.m.

    Thank you Joe, for the thoughtful, insightful articles. Mocking one's belief in God is an easy cop-out for those who do not like to think that they will have to account to anyone, let alone someone who is far superior to them, for the life they've lived. John A. Widtsoe was a great scientist who recognized that which he accomplished was a gift from God, and received one of his greatest insights on a project he had worked on for many month while attending the temple in Salt Lake City. Scientist or Religionist, they both have their sceptics and critics.

  • Michael Elliott
    June 28, 2009 4:43 p.m.

    The idea of an beneficent interventionist god is incompatible with observed reality. Where was this god as millions of Jews where gunned down, gassed, or vivisected? What is this god doing for the 1 in 5 African children who die before reaching puberty? The list of past and current atrocities which have occurred and continue to occur without divine intervention is endless. Yet we're expected to believe that there is a god who disrupts natural laws and directs human affairs?

    The notion that such a god exists should offend anyone with even a modicum of moral instinct. Only a capricious monster would intervene in such trivial matters as are often cited as evidence for divine intervention, yet stand by idly as millions are slaughtered.

    You can imagine a kind, just god, or you can imagine an intervening god. You cannot have both.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    To Word of Wisdom: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, new in the LDS version of the word of wisdom. Much of what Joseph Smith echoed in Section 89 was already swirling around the United States in the 1820s and '30s. The literature about the ill effects of coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco are well documented by historians, as is the need to eat fruits and grains. You can start with Robert Abzug's fine book, COSMOS CRUMBLING and work from there. You will see that there is nothing new in Smith's revelation; in fact, you can make a strong argument that he siphoned it from others and then spit it out as his own. Without proper attribution, we call that plagiarism.

  • POL
    June 28, 2009 5:00 p.m.

    God is dead. Humans have developed to the point where science can guide our decisions. Religion is for the weak who cannot stand up on there own and make there own way; this is paricularly true with cults such as the mormon church.

  • RE: Michael Elliot
    June 28, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    The answer is easy and obvious,

    He gave man their agency,

    and must allow them to act, for good or evil, so he can judge on their works,'

    so can see if they will do whatsoever he commandth them,

    to test our faith,

    so we can recieve blessings.

    while God may allow suffering and terrible things, it is man that is doing them.

  • @@Bill
    June 28, 2009 5:12 p.m.

    I've been in the Church 30 years and I can't number the blessings in my life and the lives of my family members because we have trusted in God and strived to do what he has asked of us. We are by far not perfect, but as I count our blessings, it emphasizes his great mercy for us. How sad it would be if you didn't KNOW where we came from, why we are here, where we are going. The key is enduring in faith by pleasing God in every choice youo make; He then reveals Himself slowly, but surely to you.

  • @ POL
    June 28, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    How would you know God is dead if you don't believe in His existence in the first place?

  • @ Michael Elliott
    June 28, 2009 5:38 p.m.

    A kind and just God has given us free agency and promised not to intervene unless we ask. It's always HIS will, not ours. There is a reason for everything, including when bad things happen we just don't have the comprehension to understand such things, our minds are limited. Even that is for a reason.

  • mark
    June 28, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    I gotta tell ya Richards, I, of course, disagree with you. I found the column very banal, Cannon is definately not a deep thinker nor, for that matter, much of a thinker at all. His arguments are trite, his reasoning lazy. His reliance on strawmen is laughable, his logic juveniel, his writing trite. And what is with that bibliography? Is he really trying to tell us he used the five pages of writtiings as reference to this reletivity small series? I don't believe that he has even read those books, let alone made use of them for this series.
    Other then that it was okay.

  • Scientist
    June 28, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    The whole notion that native americans came from Jerusalem isn't supported beyond the book of Mormon and popular theory. Science has disproven it.

    Each cell in our body is a perfect record that can tell a persons genealogy. There has been no proof that the natives came from Israel. Most of the proof indicates a correlation to Asia. That makes sense because of the theoretical land bridge, however I had always thought some genes would still connect to the Jews.

    Also the Earth isn't tens of thousands of years old. It is approximately 4.5 billion years old, along with the rest of the Solar System. If it truly was ejected from Kolob, the dating of the Earth should be different from the other matter we have collected from Mars and Asteroids. THe age of rocks can't be fooled with.

    I happen to like Mormonism. It teaches people some good values, and IF they actually lived them, they would do well. However the proof doesn't exist beyond the scriptures and personal testimony that God exists.

  • Your three answers using Science
    June 28, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    Your answers

    Why are we here?

    Obviously because we are bored and like to argue. The real answer should be right in front of your nose. We are here to be happy. Some have a different view on how that happiness is obtained.

    Where did we come from?

    They REALLY need to teach Sex Education in the schools since so many still can't answer this simple question. We came from a great and wonderful thing called Sex. You get some genes from a dad and some from a mom, and together with time and nutrients you became you.

    Where are we going?

    Eventually I am going to Walmart because I need groceries. If the question relates to death, the answer will astonish you. After you die your body and spirit separate. That body rots. Your spirit is pure energy or light, and has very little weight according to Science. Like all forms of energy it fades as it transfers heat or light into its environment. At some point the spirit dissipates completely. This explains WHY no one sees ghosts that dies hundreds of years before. THe ones I have seen were all people who lived recently.

  • @POL
    June 28, 2009 6:27 p.m.

    laugh, laugh, laugh.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 6:58 p.m.

    A very odd thread.... Cannon's column is based on his faith and beliefs, to which he is entitled. The reaction, pro and con, misses the point.

  • @yr 3 anws. using sc. 6:11
    June 28, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    maybe you don't see ghosts that died hundreds of years before, is because they reincarnated.

  • the blind faith of atheists
    June 28, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    ...is proven every day on these boards.

    They're nasty too.

  • John Gilmore
    June 28, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    I'm an atheist, I don't have blind faith. Maybe some do - I don't know any though.

    I don't understand what about rejecting any of the millions, billions, truly infinite completely undisprovable and untestable "non-physical and untouchable" theories has to do with having blind faith.

    To call atheism blind faith is the equivalent of me telling you that Invisible pink unicorns exist, and that if you don't believe so, you have blind faith that they don't exist.


    That's not blind faith.

    Blind faith would be believing in something despite lack of evidence, or, as is common, in spite of a preponderance of completely contrary evidence.

    Mark hit it right on, the column is quite dull. It sounds like a seminary teacher on "we love science" day.

  • Anonymous
    June 28, 2009 8:43 p.m.

    I believe that all truth is science, but that not all science is truth. All we know, all we believe, is filtered through our imperfect selves. Reason tells me that I am not capable of understanding how everything works, and that the possibility of the existence of God is no more irrational than many other explanations for why things are the way they are. To discount either science or the possibility of divine influence limits our ability to discover truth.

    There are also many ways to learn truth. Not all of them are quantifiable. In fact, most of what I know about life comes through nonscientific means. Emotion, intuition, inspiration, all have taught me much. To limit your acceptance of knowledge to that which is scientifically provable limits your ability to learn.

    So I will continue to believe in the possibility of God until I know all, and can see that there is no God. At that point, though, knowing all, I will be God. :-)

  • john gilmore
    June 28, 2009 9:00 p.m.

    @ 8:43

    I like your points. Most atheists I know agree:

    "the possibility of the existence of God is no more irrational than many other explanations for why things are the way they are"

    The possible existence of a god is not that irrational. It's orders of magnitude less irrational than, say, the possible existence of a god who is actively aware of/involved in human existence, or the possible existence of any of humans' favorite gods, like Yahweh or Zeus.

    As an atheist, I lack a belief in God. I'm agnostic, which is to say, I understand that no one can know either way.

  • @Bill
    June 28, 2009 9:29 p.m.

    Re: Why something rather than nothing.

    All the question does is replace one unknown (the universe) with another (god), which makes it kind of pointless. I could ask you the same type of questions about god: Why one god and not multiple ones? Why god and not no god?

    In fact, any question you can ask about the origin of the universe, I can ask about the origin of god. Any answer you supply as to the origin of god can be applied to the origin of the universe. God is an unnecessary step.

    Does a god or gods exist? I don't know. If so, he/she/it/they is doing a fantastic job of staying hidden and doesn't seem to mind seeing many of his/her/its/their creations suffer.

    Science doesn't deal with god, one way or another; it can't prove his existence or non-existence. God, by definition, is beyond science. What it does do is explain the things we observe - and does a very fine job. One day, if we don't destroy ourselves, science may be able to answer why there is something instead of nothing.

  • Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    To Bill,

    "Would you skeptics explain to me why there is "something" instead of "nothing." Being instead of non-being."

    Please explain to us "skeptics" who or what created your god.

    If you say another god did so, then explain who or what created THAT god... all the way back to the beginning.

    If your answer is "gods have been creating gods through all eternity and there never was a first god", then you have your answer to the previous question: "why is there something instead of nothing?" Because that is the way it has always been, for eternity.

    Your answer as to the origins of gods is no better than our answer. The fact that there is something rather than nothing cannot possibly prove or even support the existence of a god.

  • Ifandbut
    June 29, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    @4:26 PM
    ""...men are that they might have joy". That's one reason why we are here. "

    Then why is it that every religion I have looked at says to stay away from the things that give Humans joy. I'm talking about Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.

    Smoking pot and drinking gives people joy then why are there countless sermons at church trying to teach the evils of the drugs?

    Some consistency would be nice.

    Also, if God gave us all free will then how is everything part of God's plan? By giving us free will God can not influence our decisions. The best he could do is predict broad things like a weatherman saying a hurricane will hit shore somewhere within this 100 mile area and that hardly counts as a plan.

  • Turk
    June 29, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    Who knows, nobody knows: so why don't we deal with the things we do know; like care for our planet and each other.

  • @John Gilmore
    June 29, 2009 6:03 p.m.

    Your post makes absolutely no sense.

    Let me be more clear:
    It is absurd to believe that this earth came about by accident. You have no evidence that this is the case. If you were an agnostic I could understand your position better. You would just say: I don't know. I can't explain it.

    Yet the atheist goes further. He says there is no God, no intelligent creation. All animal and plant life came about by chance. If I told you the computer upon which you type of this nonsensical view came without design you would not believe it.
    If you did you would be regarded as either dishonest or lacking intelligence.

    Yet this earth and its myriad forms of life are astronomically more complex.

  • To "Duff"
    June 29, 2009 6:21 p.m.

    Your posts are as good as any I have read denying the existence of God, and seeking to insult those who disagree with you.

    People are not generally stupid however and most, in nations where expression of free thought is not suppressed, do believe in divine creation. I suppose you believe yourself, therefore, to be part of some intellectual elite.

    Yet your argumentation is very poor. You claim, as if it is some clearly demonstrated fact, that life came from a "crystal". If you had said that Pinocchio was transformed from a puppet into a "real boy" it would have been at least credible to an untaught child of three or four years of age; at least puppets can crudely and superficially be made to resemble people and animals, though, of course, to think they can come to life is idiotic. A crystal to come to life, though, and gradually take the shape and internal organs of an animal, and have blood coursing through its veins, the ability to digest food, expel waste, and reproduce sexually into other animals like it?

    What will you say when you finally wake up and realise how stupid this all sounds and IS?

  • For Duff
    June 29, 2009 6:41 p.m.

    To "Duff":

    Your thinking is incorrect.

    There IS a god.

    I know.

    Do I care if you mock me?

    Yes.

    Do I care so much that I'll sit here and not stand up for what I know to be true?

    No.

    Again, God lives and someday you'll see this for yourself.

    When you know like others of us do, you KNOW.

    Best wishes.

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • To Dan Maloy
    June 29, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    What is God? I would really like a description.

  • @@John Gilmore
    June 29, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    There is vastly more evidence that that the solar system was formed by natural causes than supernatural ones. But yes, it wasn't accidental; physics is not an accident.

    Then you use the stereotypical definition of atheism. Not all atheists say there is no god; they just don't believe in one. Theism/atheism (belief) and gnosticism/agnosticism (knowledge) are not mutually exclusive. Your definition of atheist seems to be a gnostic atheist.

    The reason you would think a computer (or watch, airplane, statue, picture, building, etc.) was designed is because it's known to be man-made - it's not alive; it doesn't reproduce with mutation and it's not subject to natural selection. This is an old argument and should be put to rest. Give the components of a computer the capability to combine with each other, reproduce with mutation and subject them to an environment that favors more powerful computers over weaker ones and guess what - you'd get a "natural" computer. Do a youtube search for "blind watchmaker" for an example of a "living" watch evolving.

    Finally, if you look at some of the "designs" in nature, you can hardly consider them intelligent.

  • mark
    June 30, 2009 12:35 a.m.

    Ifandbut, not that I am particularly against pot, and drinking, sex or rock, but if you think sex, drugs and rock and roll bring joy well, you should see some of the stuff I have seen. Leave out rock, that is silly, many religions don't even care about rock anymore. But drugs and drinking can cause life situations that are anything but joyful. Now I am not a teetotaler, but I do recognize that it is silly to try to find joy by using drugs or alcohol, and that they are potentially very dangerous substances.
    Of course I don't try to find joy using religion either.

  • mark
    June 30, 2009 12:43 a.m.

    @John Gilmore | 6:03 p.m. June 29, 2009
    I'll say it to you, your post makes absolutely no sense.
    To think that a god created everything based on no evidence whatsoever, merely the fact that some one told you that he did is what I would call absurd.
    And to say that things are complex therefor there must be a god? Nonsense.

  • JanSan
    June 30, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    I believe in God - NO I cannot phyically prove it to you.. that is the job of the Holy Ghost.

    It makes me sad though that there are so many negitive comments on this thread. It makes me wonder if it is just one or two people writing them all.

    I am truly sorry for all of you who have not felt the peace in troubled times, the comforter, the knowledge that there is truly something more when you deal with the death of a loved one.

    That there is so many that believe that there is no God saddens me, it is still one of the signs of the times.

  • @@@John Gilmore
    June 30, 2009 8:55 a.m.

    ATHEISM: noun, the theory or belief that God does not exist.

    Origin from Greek atheos, from 'without' + theos God.

    Oxford Dictionary, Tenth Edition, Oxford University Press 1999

  • Roy Rogers McFreely
    June 30, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    re: @Duff | 2:21 p.m. June 28, 2009

    //You issued a challenge. Here is my response for all who are interested.:

    3. The Book of Mormon explains the origin of the former inhabitants of the Americas.//

    Really? What about DNA evidence that says Navajos are more related to Siberians while its more likely Zunis are more closely related to Near Eastern people.

    I agree w/ the 12:57 poster in the fact that we will eventually receive complete enlightenment. In the meantime, I'm just working at being better today than I was yesterday.

  • It is simple
    June 30, 2009 10:02 a.m.

    Some of you are just lousy know it all's on here who actually know nothing. We all come from the energy of God. God is energy and light, and as we age and grow old our energy gradually creeps back to God, and we die, and then our energy matter is rearranged once again with God. Then we start the life process all over again. It is called the energy light of LIFE.

  • Fred
    June 30, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    Science can only explain what can be observed over and over. A law of science is only a law because the result happens over and over and someone was there to document it. In science, anything that cannot be observed is called a theory--a scientist's best guess. The fact that people pray is evidence that there is a God. There is no such thing as blind faith. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. There is hope and trust. If you trust God, you will obey God's laws. God is a rewarder of those that seek him. People can be taught to pray or not to pray but whether you pray or not is a choice. If you choose not to believe in God, whatever your basis is, then you are trying to absolve yourself from the responsibility of following God's commandments--saying, "I don't believe so I can do what I want, not what God wants." It is a choice, but you cannot choose the consequences. Salvation is free and because everyone will be judged, we will be rewarded according to our choices. Good for good, evil for evil.

  • Spiffy
    June 30, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    Umm, you guys are scaring me.

  • Spike
    June 30, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    So where was God during the big bank. Was he wrapped up in the tiny ball of energy that exploded into a universe. Think people, religion is man's biggest invention, but thinking can set you free.

  • @ Ifandbut
    June 30, 2009 1:13 p.m.

    Yeah! Drunk driving, STD's, unwanted pregnancies, and drug abuse sound real fun! Have a great life!

  • A. C.
    June 30, 2009 1:34 p.m.

    One, and arguably the most fundamentally important aspect of learning and accepting any "TRUTH", is, DESIRE.

    If you do not have the desire to know "God" governs His creations, your desire is accepted based on the principle of free agency, and the philosophy that there are different levels of theological and 'scientific' intelligences.

    It is not only fruitless to testify of a truth to an individual whose energy of light, (reciprocating intelligence) is tossed to and fro, it serves only to be divisive and argumentative in the absence of desire.

    To testify that God exists is to freely reiterate intimate knowledge learned through the Gift of the Holy Ghost and substantively cannot be dis proven. Just like sound scientific theory cannot be intellectually dis proven.

    So, when you intellectual superiors prove under the tutelage of the Gift of Holy Ghost that you understand and can testify to the 'truth of all things', IE: GOD does not exist, or who and what He is, we will just simply learn how to live with the intellectual, theological differences and try to get along.

  • Happy and HOT!
    June 30, 2009 1:54 p.m.

    God is energy that dwells within the hot sun. None of us can enter there until we are hot stuff down here, and full energy, so as to contribute to the suns energy which is God. Then we will all become one in the sun of pure energy.

  • To the freethinker
    June 30, 2009 2:27 p.m.

    Returning to the discussion of planets:

    1. In our own solar system we have accumulated much knowledge through our moon landing, landing robot vehicles on Mars, scanning space with giant telescopes including one "in space".

    2. From what we currently know, in THIS solar system, no evidence is apparent, of any life on any planet but our own. In the case of the moon this seems certain; on Mars, very likely. There are no human beings, animals, plants, of any known kind, nor are the conditions now such as would make that possible or likely.

    3. Not only is there no evidence of familiar forms of life, but no creatures have been detected that do not need the kind of conditions such as those on earth.

    4. Venus is virtually invisible for thick clouds, but any life on Venus would have to be capable of living in very high temperatures indeed.

    5. Earth, in our solar system, alone has suitable climate, suitable atmosphere, water circulation supporting myriad forms of life. The other planets, in THIS solar system, appear formless and empty.

    6. Surely Earth has been deliberately positioned and organised for intelligent life and such life placed upon it.

  • Sarah
    June 30, 2009 2:30 p.m.

    There are other religions out there people. So many of you seem set on disproving the LDS church and calling it a cult. Whether you believe in it or not, I don't understand why this becomes an anti-mormon forum. Many gospel principles are shared with a number of other religions, which seem somehow to escape the discussion boards completely unmentioned and unharmed.

    A person who believes in something else will always find a reason and "proof" that the things they don't believe in are "lies." If I really believed the earth was the center of the universe, no number of textbooks and facts would change my mind. Only seeing it will prove me right or wrong.

    Until we all know for sure, why don't you let your families, friends and neighbors choose the religion they want and believe what they want to believe? Life can be hard and people need religion (or a belief in something) just to get through it. Science may give us answers, but does it fill our lives with joy and satisfaction? Does science comfort us when our loved ones die? Allow me worship in peace. I allow you to.

  • Jerry W
    June 30, 2009 3:06 p.m.

    We have, in modern times, had secularists that grabed the reins of power. How did they control the people? Without the religious imparitive to live decent lives the one and only answer is a police state. People under the control of Stalin and Hitler are good examples. Would we like to see a return to that type of government?

  • why?
    June 30, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    This thread was getting really interesting.

    I notice that several posts addressing atheists directly and congently have been removed sometime since 2 pm. There was nothing abusive in them.

    Why? Who is protecting these athesists? They can be rude to us but we cannot be straight with them.

    Did the night shift just come in?

    The order of the posts in this thread has also been radically altered.

  • Halibut
    June 30, 2009 7:16 p.m.

    Interesting thoughts of balony.

  • I enjoyed this article
    June 30, 2009 9:23 p.m.

    And I am not religious. I do believe there is some Higher Power, but obviously (at least to me and many others) this Power is not the way most religions talk of. But being an atheist doesn't make sense to me either. I believe that since we are sentient that there must be some purpose in life. This makes me a Deist and since we don't all agree in the world this makes sense to me. A "Higher Power" would not give "truth" to only one group of people in the world. There is "truth" in many things and up to us to find it for ourselves.

  • Luke
    July 1, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    was God inside the tiny bundle of energy that exploded in the big bang creating the universe. Religion is man's biggest invention to alibi his ignorance.

  • to @ john gillmore
    July 1, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    i completley agree with you! you people should google the story of sir newton saying the same thing to an athiest friend of his- except in his case it was a model of the solar system and not a computer. not a comfirmed truth of a story, but very fun to read. the way i view it is this: science requires proof of something to either prove something or disprove it. you can prove every religion false if you want but even if that were possible(and i don't think that it is), that would still not prove that there is no god. anyone who says they beleive in science and know that god doesn't exist is either a liar, or is ignorant to the laws of science. until something is disproved, it is a valid theory, and god clearly falls into that catagory because he has yet to be disroved. darwin may have explained the origin of life was possible without devine intervention, but that does not prove that the intervention did not occur, musch less that the devine does not exist.

  • Mr Lucas
    July 1, 2009 11:36 a.m.

    re: Word of Wisdom | 2:49 p.m. June 28, 2009
    //As for the origin of ancient Americans, Mormon scientists and geneticists proved they were not from a lost tribe of Israel. Not to mention the archaeologists who have never found evidence for ancient Israelis.

    Egyptologists and linguists easily proved that The Book of Abraham is fiction.//

    What about the fact that the promised land may actually be the Kingdom of Asir located near Mecca & Medina on the Arabian peninsula.... certainly makes Lehi's departure route more logical.

  • For Duff (again....)
    July 1, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    Here is my exact comment that was posted before but now has been removed for some reason:

    "For Duff | 6:41 p.m. June 29, 2009

    To "Duff":

    Your thinking is incorrect.

    There IS a god.

    I know.

    Do I care if you mock me?

    Yes.

    Do I care so much that I'll sit here and not stand up for what I know to be true?

    No.

    Again, God lives and someday you'll see this for yourself.

    When you know like others of us do, you KNOW.

    Best wishes.

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK"

    Posting again because someone else read my post above and asked me a question yesterday. My answer wouldn't make sense without the post....

  • The Question
    July 1, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    Here's the question someone asked me that is now also missing:

    "To Dan Maloy | 6:52 p.m. June 29, 2009
    What is God? I would really like a description."

  • I Know
    July 1, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    "Turk | 3:48 p.m. June 29, 2009 - Who knows, nobody knows: so why don't we deal with the things we do know; like care for our planet and each other."

    Turk, "nobody" knows??? Really???

    Either you are truly limited in your understanding of understanding or you are blatantly attacking the truth that knowledge can be acquired even if it can not always be explained by mortals.

    Tell me, if your body is hurt, let's say in a serious car accident, and your body is actively experiencing pain, how, EXACTLY, do you KNOW you are experiencing pain?

    You KNOW you are in pain, but how did you "learn" that? What IS "pain"? What does it feel like?

    The same could be asked of "joy".

    If real knowledge can be acquired of things we can't see or put into a beaker like pain and joy, even if we don't know how we know them, why can't real knowledge be acquired of things we can't see like God?

    You accept the car crash "knowledge" but reject the "god" knowledge.

    Why?

    I DO know and so do others here.

    Best wishes -

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • An Honest Question
    July 1, 2009 6:01 p.m.

    Tell me, why is that the more liberal one becomes, the more likely they are not to believe in God?

    This is not a cheap shot against liberal readers here, it's a documented fact that the more liberal one is their viewpoints the less likely they are to believe in a Divine Being?

    Why?

  • --Rayvolution
    July 2, 2009 8:23 a.m.

    I love God. Since I was young, I learned to pray and call upon Him. I have not been able to live up to what are His commandments, and that's kinda made it alluring to me to doubt--as if my failures might have an excuse if those commandments didn't really exist--if nothing I did really mattered. But having made an effort all my life to put these failures behind me, I see that there is a better way to live that doesn't include my vices.

    People come to God different ways. Some never get the same great chances I have been given. All I can do is be grateful for my life, and the opportunities presented to me. Let others say what they say, I know God exists because of the struggles of my life and the whisperings of a truly loving father of my soul. I love science, and discovery, art, human friendship, and math. These things are not in conflict with God. Let people worship or not worship what they may, if they respect my right to believe and express that belief, then I respect their right not to.

  • Akellis
    July 2, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    I find this whole argument silly.

    You either believe in god or you don't. Why share it? You have to prove your beliefs to everyone else to gain some sort of verification?

    I don't believe in god, I die and there is a god... I suppose we will have an interesting converstation. Of which it would matter very little if I had changed my beliefs before I died.

    You believe in god, you die and there isn't one... that's the end, it doesn't matter what you believed or who you told other than the influence you left on those that come after you which won't matter once they die.

    The point is... arguing over something that is a personal decision and ultimately doesn't change your outcome is funny.

    And before saying "It will matter when you are judged..." Try to understand that 'being judged' would be welcomed since it is without doubt better than the alternative. And I'm quite happy believing what I do. And I acknowledge that I'm most likely wrong, since I can't see how anyone can be 'right' for everyone. Only for yourselves.

  • Sarah
    July 2, 2009 1:01 p.m.

    Science is great and it fills a place that religion can't. Like explaining tangible concepts that mysticism can't.

    Religion is also great and it fills a place that science will never be able to. Does science explain where our loved ones go when they die? Does it comfort us when we feel deep emotional losses?

    We may never know what happens to a soul, but at least religion helps us get through life a bit easier.

  • re - Mike Richards | 11:38 a.m.
    July 2, 2009 4:42 p.m.

    ["There are two classes of individuals who are not popular with God"]

    how do you know that what you are saying is true? How do you know what God wants?

  • Design?
    July 2, 2009 5:04 p.m.

    To 6:03 p.m.,

    It is absurd to think that an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent god would create this mess of a universe that seems bent on the destruction of the "children" he supposedly created. As just a few cases in point, your Grand Watchmaker built a faulty "watch" that only a few years back destroyed the lives of 300,000 innocent people with a tsunami. Add to that the hurricanes, volcanoes, etc. as well as the diseases that ravish the human populations, and you have a lot of explaining to do on behalf of this supposed benevolent god who "loves" his children and his creation!

    Face it, if you prove the existence of your god be claiming his "design" as proof, then your god is nobody I care to worship. The evidence proves that he/she/it is an incompetent fool with a malicious and horrible sense of morality. He/she/it is a monster, not a god!

  • Russian roulette
    July 2, 2009 6:46 p.m.

    So If one does not believe in the existence of God then it stands to reason that one would not believe in any type of an afterlife which means when you die your conscience is extinguished. Fair enough that puts the atheist and the person who believes in God on the same ground; whether we are good or bad, live an immoral life or a moral life the end result is the same. On the other hand however, If there is an afterlife, then hell for an atheist would mean after he is dead; realizing he still exists and that he really messed up. Of course if the atheist is right in his believe of no existence after death then he can laugh at all us superstitious God fearing people. But… if he is wrong. I guess it is sort of like playing Russian roulette. In this case it is not your life you are gambling with, its your soul.

  • Re:Scientist
    July 2, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    "The whole notion that native americans came from Jerusalem isn't supported beyond the book of Mormon"

    Did they include with their studies that the BOM says these people came from Jerusalem prior to the Babylonian Captivity which means the Jews that survived had their DNA mixed with their captors and other civilizations that Babylon had conquered. It would come as no surprise that the DNA of Native Americans has no relation to the DNA of the people now living in Jerusalem.

    Another piece of information overlooked is that Lehi, One of the BOM prophets declared that he was a descendant of Joseph . The Joseph he refers to is the Joseph of Egypt mentioned in the Old testament. While Joseph was in Egypt, Pharaoh gave Joseph the daughter of an Egyptian priest to be his wife. Her name was Asenath (Gen 41:45) and she bore him two Sons ; Manasseh and Ephraim.

    Lehi was descended from Manasseh. Lehi would therefore have Egyptian DNA. Before the scientists come to premature conclusions perhaps they should test the DNA of Egyptians with Asians and Native Americans and they might find a match with all three.

  • Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    re: Your three answers using Science | 6:11 p.m. June 28, 2009

    //Where are we going?...Your spirit is pure energy or light, and has very little weight according to Science. Like all forms of energy it fades as it transfers heat or light into its environment. At some point the spirit dissipates completely.//

    If Energy can neither be created nor destoyed. Essentially, a Zero sum game.

    It has to go somewhere. Reincarnation??

  • Anonymous
    July 16, 2009 1:19 p.m.

    What a tangled web we weave when we practice to do apologetics for the LDS Church!

  • CJ3
    July 28, 2009 11:45 p.m.

    Rather than delve into the philosophical debate between those that believe themselves on the right side of the seeming paradox, I would say only this;

    It's troublesome to me that some have come to believe that they are better than others and almost have a desire for the world as we know it to end, if simply to prove they are righteous, or chosen, or if only to claim a high place in the next life.

    It's counter-productive to any plan, and destructive to humanity as a whole, and quite frankly comes across as vanity and self-righteousness, whichever way you slice it, or whichever side of the table you sit at.

    There is NO guarantee that the world will end any time soon, despite what you may have been taught.

    Taken as a guidleline, the gospels of the religions of the world can make you a better person solely on the merits of their advice.

    We are not the same people as our ancestors, and the manner of speaking and teaching must evolve with us, as we grow.

  • Reed
    July 29, 2009 8:01 a.m.

    I've observed that even simple things like baseball bats, balls, and balloons that are created must have a creator. I don't have enough faith in chance to believe that complicated things like eyes, ears, hearts, livers, kidneys, brains, and nervous systems came about without some pretty bright creator being involved. Hats off to anyone who has that much faith in spontaneous creation.

  • To Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    July 29, 2009 8:45 a.m.

    Do you know there are special institutions with many people who know and see things that none of the rest of us do. The mind is a funny thing. Self deception is real, maybe you just think you know. To know is to have knowledge of things that can be proven. Pehaps you just believe, or wish to believe, or seek to know; but, you really do not know: do you?

  • Sick Watchmaker
    Aug. 1, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    Reed,

    "I've observed that even simple things like baseball bats, balls, and balloons that are created must have a creator. I don't have enough faith in chance to believe that complicated things like eyes, ears, hearts, livers, kidneys, brains, and nervous systems came about without some pretty bright creator being involved. Hats off to anyone who has that much faith in spontaneous creation."

    If you believe in a Creator based on construing this world as a "creation", then your Creator is one sick and twisted, murdering monster! If the kind of god you preach is that twisted, I want nothing to do with it!

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 5, 2009 2:29 p.m.

    "Tell me, why is that the more liberal one becomes, the more likely they are not to believe in God?

    This is not a cheap shot against liberal readers here, it's a documented fact that the more liberal one is their viewpoints the less likely they are to believe in a Divine Being?"

    I believe you have misquoted the fact. It is that the more EDUCATED a person becomes, the more likely that they do not believe in God.

  • @Russian roulette
    Aug. 5, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    "On the other hand however, If there is an afterlife, then hell for an atheist would mean after he is dead; realizing he still exists and that he really messed up. "

    The problem with your thoughts is that most atheists/agnostics that I know are very caring, loving and kind people. There is no way that a kind, loving and caring God would think that they "messed up." On the other hand, I know some pretty "messed up" religious people who think they need to judge everyone and feel pretty superior to those who do not measure up. I bet they hope that the atheists are right and there is no after-life.

    Don't pigeon hole what type of people believe in God and what type of people are atheists. You might be surprised with the actual results!

  • For: 8:45 AM post on July 29th
    Aug. 11, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    "To Dan Maloy Enid, OK | 8:45 a.m. July 29, 2009
    Do you know there are special institutions with many people who know and see things that none of the rest of us do. The mind is a funny thing. Self deception is real, maybe you just think you know. To know is to have knowledge of things that can be proven. Pehaps you just believe, or wish to believe, or seek to know; but, you really do not know: do you?"

    Ahh...good one. Dismiss my knowledge by claiming I am crazy. Nice try but it's not going to work.

    To answer your criticism, yes, I do know.

    Sincerely -

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • I Meant What I Said
    Aug. 11, 2009 10:23 p.m.

    "Anonymous | 2:29 p.m. Aug. 5, 2009
    "Tell me, why is that the more liberal one becomes, the more likely they are not to believe in God?
    This is not a cheap shot against liberal readers here, it's a documented fact that the more liberal one is their viewpoints the less likely they are to believe in a Divine Being?" I believe you have misquoted the fact. It is that the more EDUCATED a person becomes, the more likely that they do not believe in God."

    Nope, no mistake here.

    My questions was why does a person who becomes more and more liberal in their views generally believe less and less in the reality of God.

    If I wanted to ask about "education" and one's views on God I would have written "education".

    I wrote "liberal" because that's what I meant.

    BTW, I have yet to get a logical answer from any liberal.

  • bandersen
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    Albert Einstein, hardly an intellectual light weight, believed that the universe showed a divine hand. Although I haven't based my personal faith on his evaluation of whether God exists or not, it does allow me to question those who say that accomplished scientists are more prone not to believe in God. I would be in pretty good company standing next to Einstein, and I doubt he would question at all my personal faith in the existence of God.

  • JSM
    Nov. 13, 2009 12:00 p.m.

    "There is no space in which there is no kingdom."

    I don't know what all the planets are for, but assuming that it is waste may be like the ant assuming that the walls and roof and yard are waste. All he thinks about is the "waste" food on the floor.

    What we see is only part of the picture, assuming this is all that exists is foolish. Our time is one small slice of the cosmos. A blink of the eye to God is forever for us.
    Brigham Young taught that the Garden of Eden still exists on another plane. If so, what else might exist around us, beyond this Telestial level?

    Open your mind to wonder and enjoy it.

  • Atheist from Seattle
    Dec. 16, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    I've never seen such preoccupation with the nonsense that locals here in Utah call religion and "God".

  • Ivan M
    Dec. 16, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    LOL... "Atheist from Seattle" says- I've never seen such preoccupation with the nonsense that locals here in Utah call religion and "God".

    What I have seen is the inordinant amount of preoccupation atheists have with proving believers wrong and them right. For the believer there is nothing to prove, but to believe because the fruits are plenty, but for the atheist, his life consists of trying prove to that he is right. In other words, he is his own "god".