Sends Best Wishes
To Our Friends
Being computer illiterate, I am using my granddaughter's machine to send you this letter, my children and grandchildren all despair of my inadequacies in this technological age! Somewhere, I came across the title of your book (very fortuitous!), and our other son, who is very computer literate indeed, promptly searched-out, located and purchased a copy for me (via Amazon.com.) So easy -- astonishing! I enjoyed the read immensely, have since passed it on to a friend and strongly recommended it to a couple of others.
Our respective odysseys have much in common, one significant difference being however that it took me about 40 years to arrive at the point where I reluctantly admitted to myself that I could no longer subscribe to the basic propositions required for one to describe oneself as a Christian, even by the most generous definition. I could no longer go on pretending, simple honesty and my own integrity compelled me admit my "unbelief", and thus I discarded any allegiance to organized religion, to employ your apt word, I "deconverted"
This was 10 years ago, and I am still relishing the sense of peace which accompanied my declaration of my honestly thought-through position. Today, I might borrow Prof. Michael Goulder's self-description as a "non-aggressive agnostic", furthermore, If I were to categorise myself as a "something", I am happy to be listed amongst those of my friends in the Australian Humanist Society. Since my "defection". I have enjoyed putting down my thoughts touching on a variety of subjects, most of which present a challenge to the notion of the god of popular religion. Themes such as the pointlessness of prayer, suffering, making sense of life without recourse to the supernatural, the transparent inconsistencies within the Christian bible, and so on, and I quite enjoy offering my literary efforts, such as they are, to friends who have elected to remain within the fold. I simply ask that, if they find my reasoning to be flawed, they should point this out and we can discuss, So far, predictably, no offers to debate have come my way!
May I suggest an Australian book which you will probably not have discovered? The title is "Godless Gospel", the author is a secular Jew who is quite prominent at city government level, being recently the mayor of one of the large boroughs in Melbourne. He is also a respected academic. The book's sub-title is "A Modern Guide to Meaning and Morality", the central theme being to challenge the view that we need a god to be good. I'm sure you would enjoy this read. The book's details are as follows; "Godless Gospel" by Dick Gross. Pluto Press, Sydney, Australia 1999 ISBN 1 86403 059 3. The publisher's address: www/social change.net.au/pluto/ Cost would be approx $13.
Finally, I would like to know something of the Freedom from Religion Foundation magazine (monthly? quarterly?), and subscription details. Perhaps you might find a moment to acknowledge that this magical electronic message has actually gone where I intended it to go! It would be wonderful to have an hour with you over a cup of coffee some day.
My very best wishes to you and you wife, of course. Let this be the start of a long friendship
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: March 16, 2002 4:49 AM
If you're ever in Portland, simply contact me via e-mail with enough of an advanced notice to make plans.
Meanwhile, here's the Freedom From Religion Foundation's address:
Freedom From Religion
PO Box 750
Madison WI 53701
Positive Atheism Magazine
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