Atheism Is Your Choice:
Why Must You Sell It?
Eleanore Leslie

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Eleanore Leslie"
Subject: Re: Person
Date: January 04, 2004 7:47 PM

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... the author advances his thesis that non-believers are persecuted by intolerant people who believe in an institutional "god."
-- from George Beres, "An Atheist's Tale" (a review of Gaudia's novel)

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Why do you speak so condescendingly, and without a single word of criticism? Do you behave this way toward all who express themselves, whose opinions you find meaningless or even abhorrent? Do members of a free society encourage the free exchange of ideas by simply discouraging creative people from producing, without so much as an argument or an explanation?

It is clear to us that you are attempting to disparage Mr. Gaudia's ideas before an audience of some kind (namely, ours). You being in the majority and Mr. Gaudia being among a widely and viciously despised minority, all you need to do is say something negative about his ideas -- anything at all will suffice -- and you shall instantly find a significant fraction of the public agreeing with you.

Unfortunately, those who agree will do so out of habit, not as the result of any significant thinking on their part.

This is because in all this, you failed to actually say anything! You simply growled at Mr. Gaudia and left it at that! Your letter communicated nothing other than the fact that a person named Eleanore Leslie read a book review and became upset with what the featured author, Gil Gaudia, has written. To invert a popular saying, "Some people are like opinions"!

The real line of questioning goes something like this:

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1. What is it that Mr. Gaudia said, specifically, that prompted you to act this way? to write what you did about his work?

2. Precisely what is it about these statements he has made that you find objectionable?

3. Why do you single Mr. Gaudia out for this treatment if you don't act this way toward every author whose work gets reviewed in the newspaper? (And if this is common behavior for you, why don't you simply publish some creative works of your own?)

4. What do you offer as an alternative to what Mr. Gaudia has said?

5. Why should we go along with what you say in favor of what Mr. Gaudia has written?

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Had you been interested in discussion -- the communication of ideas -- we could have expected your criticism to go along the lines described above. Unfortunately, all we heard from you was the literary equivalent of "Growl! Hisss! Ffft, ffft, ffft!"

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Eight years of service to people
    with no reason to believe

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