To Have Been Given
A Choice At An Early Age
I'd just like to drop you a line to let you know how much I appreciate your work. I have thus far read only a very small portion of the information available to me on this site, but I find it incredibly interesting. I particularly enjoyed a section that discussed the morality of Christian forgiveness. I had not considered it the way you had presented it -- the fact that Christians may actually be more inclined to commit immoral acts, due to the fact that they have the option of repenting. I had always been confused by the fact that Christians seem to think that apologizing for something puts it back to the way it was.
I became an atheist through my own free thought (my parents took me to church as a child, though they certainly did not force the issue), and nothing makes me feel more empowered than reading a well thought out debate on the existence of god. Nothing else in my life seems as solid to me as the fact that there is no god. The more I sit and ponder, the more I almost feel sorry for the believers. The funny thing is, I'm sure they feel the same for me. I keep thinking "if they could only feel the way I do, and if they could only think my thoughts for just a few minutes, then they'd understand!"
But I realize that this cannot happen, and I came to the conclusion years ago that it's pointless for me to attempt to convince anyone that my thought process is the right one. I do wish that everyone had access to the information that I do, and was able to read and understand dialogues such as those on your site. If only people were given a choice in their early years -- if only they were presented with religious doctrines and a purely secular doctrine based on reason -- how many people would fall into line and blindly follow an unseen deity?
Your site has inspired me to continue my work on my manifesto. I have been collecting various arguments of my own, as well as paraphrased sections from other people's dialogues -- mostly just to give me a deeper understanding of myself. I hope to someday be able to simply hand it to someone who asks me why I am an atheist, or even to someone who asks me why I'm the person I am. I start to get very emotional when the subject of religion is brought up (people are constantly amazed that I have such strong beliefs -- they think that this quality is reserved for those that believe in god), and this manifesto has allowed me to organize my thoughts in a much more logical fashion.
Anyway, I could continue for pages, but I intended for this to be short and concise. Again, I would like to applaud your work, and if donations are being accepted to continue the site, I would like to know how to contribute. Thank you for reawakening my interests in religion.
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