Dec 3, 2010

time to question atheism, yet again; broken record, I know

Sorry, first off, for the poor structuring/layout/whatever-it's called. 'Formatting' - that's the one. I find it a hassle and can't be bothered getting the html to work. But anyway:

Sometimes I read I'm not really proud of this, but it fills in the time.

Rich likes to show off the emails he gets from crazies. Fair enough; but if he wants to point and laugh at crazies, he should read the forums on his site. Given what you see in various internet forums and comments lists, populated by ignorant young men with self-esteem issues, I can imagine sites such as "" must also receive some interesting emails.

More interesting however for me is the section of the site labelled "converts corner" and the associated "Good" emails that Rich has received. Their spelling, let alone comprehension of the issues, is little better than that of Dawkins' specially-picked (for the purposes of mocking) opponents.

This is an interesting quote:

I was reading on your website the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly section and it
just amazes me how so many christians, who preach about the love and compassion of their religion, can say such vile things, but I think they really need to look in the mirror when they say atheists are "dumb, clueless and hateful", as was quoted in one of the letters from your site. I don't see atheists trying to
brainwash people, or telling people that they're doing to burn in some imaginary hell... that's awful. Atheism has never caused any wars or mass murders.

I do see atheists, a la Dawkins, trying to brainwash people - and lack of belief in God has sadly, I would suggest, been a contributing factor in a number of wars and mass-murders. Incidentally, I don't believe in "some imaginary hell". Unfortunately, I believe in a real one, of some sort. Maybe those who reject God are 'just' extinguished; either way, it's not the best way to go.

Presumably Rich's people are fairly proud of this letter, the first in their list. It's quite revealing -

I've highlighted the interesting and some of the more questionable bits in blue. Commentary below.

I must thank you immensly for your work. I'm getting to the end of your
fantastic book 'The god delusion' and couldn't wait until the end to thank you.
I first got to know about you through Mr Brown's book 'tricks of the mind'.
Having been raised quite alike him in an evangelic christian community, I
related a lot to his story. So, I had to get hold of the book to which he is so elogious.

I gave up my parents (and my) beliefs sometime around my teenage years.
Thinking more and more about my received teachings, I arrived to the simple
conclusion that they just conflicted with common sense! In the past, i've found
myself cornered by my lack of knowledge, which gave the christian defending his
beliefs automatic (perceived in his sense) victory! Needless to say how
nauseating this is. Your book is a gold mine of proof that i hope will put in
doubt every religious believing person that crosses my way from now on.

Another teenager rejects his parents beliefs (or, taking a literal reading, perhaps gave up his parents?), apparently without knowing too much about them (evangelic?). Since when should 'common sense' accord with reality, given atheism/naturalism? e.g. Dennett is rather keen on rejecting common sense - well, when it suits anyway.

"A gold mine of proof". Wow. Just.. wow.

I leave you with some more gems. If you like them, step in to my shoes and/or come visit my bookshelf.

I see the irrationality of religion. My hope is that other
will see the true light. Thank you again. I won't hesitate
to speak my mind and support my position if challenged by
an irrational religious person!


The fervour with which exponents of religious ideals evangelise their
beliefs on an un-informed public, needs to be met with an equally zealous
counteract, to educate and inform.


Incidentally my atheist enlightenment came from understanding that the attraction of two magnets could be explained by physics! I used to carry two plastic magnetic turtles into my Belfast Sunday 'school' in the hope that they would repel the irrational lunacy that I was being force fed, and attract some rational thought.


Now, I am still amazed at the complexity of nature. But it is nature itself, and not such a sill book written by cavemen, that reveals to us the truths of this world. I have finally found my true religion, which is no religion.

If you're not tired yet, read this and the comments to get some grip on people's twisted view of the world: Some are actually proud of the fact that they can't understand Plantinga's argument, or complain that they get a headache from reading it. I could go on; but I humbly suggest that if you think you're smarter than this guy, it is quite likely you haven't read his work carefully enough. If you're an atheist posting comments on Dawkins' website and you think you're smarter than Plantinga, I would like to meet you - I will most probably laugh. I do appreciate it however when people try to actually engage with careful Christian thought - kudos to those people.

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