You Stand Out
Like A Sore Thumb
Dear Sir(s) and/or Ma'am(s),
I'm a 17-year aged male in Kentucky and I am an atheist. I found your web site using an Internet search engine and was pleased to see such a large amount of information about my own beliefs. Living in a predominantly Christian area and having friends and family who are strong (and weak) Catholics and Protestants is quite difficult when you stand out like a sore thumb, so to speak. But don't get me wrong, I prefer my choice of atheism as opposed to following the faiths the rest of my family and friends follow. I like being different and I think my choice is more suitable for me than a religious order.
However, I do have one problem with arguing about atheism. Like I said, it's not easy living in an area with strong religious backgrounds and not following them "the way I should" (according to my friends and family). I can argue why I believe in atheism fairly well: I like to believe there is a more logical explanation to a problem than "God made it that way;" I like the added time to sleep in on Sunday mornings rather than arise for church; I don't think it's fair that people in the past and present are persecuted for having varied beliefs (and to my knowledge, no mass organization against atheism has resulted in large bloodshed; unlike Judaism in World War II or an event such as that); and I like to believe that I'm free to my will: no god is watching me and will persecute me for my wrongs in its view. But in some mild searching for an answer to how things came to be, I found some difficulty finding information on your web site.
In the past, when I have tried to argue atheism over Christianity, when it comes to most things such as morals, history, etcetera, I do reasonably well. When it comes to arguing how the world was created or how creatures came to exist, I have some difficulty. I can use the idea of evolution to bring things to the present, but actually saying how the universe came to exist brings me to the point of holding a bull by its horns. I like to say - since I believe that science and math can answer any question and remove the need of a higher-power to solve a problem - that, "science is progressive and it just hasn't come far enough to find an answer to the existance of the world or exactly how it was created." I acknowledge the big-bang theory and things going from there, but finding a reason for the big-bang actually happening or a cause of it brings me to my quote above.
I don't think my quote is very strong and I think it appears as a sign of weakening to Christian thinkers when I bring it down to that, they simply want a more logical answer and to them saying that "God made it that way" is perfectly well supported. I was hoping to find a more solid answer (if there is one) to use as a rebuttal in the event someone should ask me to prove what I believe: that there is no god of any kind and that science and maths when worked together, can answer all questions we could ever ask. I was hoping that the person reading this letter could supply me with more solid quotes or places to find them, since several people near me tend not to have the same beliefs that I do.
If the reader of this letter can give me the information I'm looking for, could you please e-mail it to me in return to this letter? If you're not the person to ask this to, could you please forward this letter to the correct person to write it to or send me an e-mail address that I can contact them at?
Thank you for your time.
From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 9:42 AM
The best description we have of the origin of the universe is the Victor Stenger interview. His book Not By Design is a more detailed look at that information, and he has a new book coming out soon.
Also, if you look through our Letters section (I know, it recently passed a phenomenal 600 files), you will see several examples of my interpretation of what Stenger says is the most current version of how the universe came to be. You might want to go to the search engine and type in "universe" to find these. If you do this (if the search engine is still around by the time you read this; I'm thinking of getting rid of it, but will put forwarding links to its replacement if I do), your best bet is to click the URL below the description rather than the page title, as this takes you straight to the page. Clicking the page title takes you through the search engine company's frame.
As for evolution, Richard Dawkins is the best basic look at that aspect of our development. There are other variations of the evolution account, to be sure, but Richard Dawkins is one of the best writers around, besides being a brilliant scientist. We have several of Dawkins's writings up (they are all over the Internet) and you can find them listed in our Writings Index.
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