I Feel Sorry For You,
You Are Truly
Lying To Yourself
C. A. Thompson

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "thompson-c-a"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 2:07 AM

I see that you wrote without checking out our website to see what we think and say before you lay your traps before us. Letters such as this are boring because we must reinvent the wheel every time we get one of these. We prefer that people first find out what we're about rather than simply seeing the word atheism and assuming that they've got us pegged -- and we say as much in the notice adjacent to the link you clicked.
 

No. It's a planet.
 

No. It formed according to the properties of matter and energy. It did not form itself, but is the result of its environment.
 

Without conscious thought? Yes. Conscious thought, as far as we can tell, requires a nervous system. The Earth and her greater environment, as far as we can tell, contain no nervous systems, so from what we can ascertain, there was no conscious thought involved in the formation of the Earth.

Without conscious purpose? Yes. Only laws of gravity and matter and energy are at work in the formation and the movement of the Earth, as far as we can tell. We have no reason to think that "somebody" picked up a giant lump of clay and "formed" a mud-ball, of sorts, and hurled it into space with just the right amount of "English" to keep is spinning the way it does. Newton's explanation requires much less faith than that.

Without direction? This question is unclear.

If you mean without conscious, deliberate "direction" as in being deliberately guided by a conscious entity, no. Nothing about Earth or the laws of physics require us to think any more than that the laws of gravity and momentum are at work in the formation and movement of the Earth.

If you mean direction as in tendency, then yes: all things have characteristics and can be expected to act according to their characteristics within their environment. The earth is composed of various amounts of matter and contains a certain amount of heat, and receives and gives off certain amounts of heat from the sun (which is acting according to its characteristics), and contains a certain mass and a certain momentum. Thus, we can expect the Earth to do what it is doing, and to continue to do what it's doing. In this sense of the word direction, yes, the Earth has direction.
 

That plus what my cultural background has given me; plus what my experiential background has given me; plus what my internal thoughts have given me; plus what those who have loved me have given to me; minus what accident, illness, and missed opportunity have taken away from me; minus what I have given of myself to my fellow humans and other species. And a whole lot of other things, too.

But I wouldn't call it faulty, because with this change, we have been able to survive and prosper as a species, plus we have been able to ponder questions much more profound, even, than the ones with which you think you have baffled me.

Nevertheless, the basic foundation of my existence is the fact that every member of my chain of ancestors has lived long enough to procreate, and that over the billions of years, some have developed random mutations which were selected according to whether they provided an advantage within the gene pool.

My basic foundation for existence is that I am an organism. Being an organism is the only way we have ever detected that enables a conscious entity to exist. If I could do it any other way, I might give it a try, but since this is the only way we've yet detected for existing, I will appreciate what I've got and give back to my culture and my environment the gift of myself during my brief stay within the realm of existence.
 

Bees do not have the same nervous systems that humans have, far from it; thus, bees experience an entirely different existence that humans do. Therefore, we cannot be "merely an advanced form of an apian [bee-like] existence," but something quite different from it in every way except those basics common to all fauna. How this would relate to "faulty monkey genes" escapes me, though.

We all have DNA which has as its "goal" self-preservation through self-replication. Certain strands of DNA are common in all life forms, suggesting that the current set of life forms now exiting on Earth had a single common ancestor. This does not mean that life evolved only once, just that the current set of life forms probably sprang ultimately from one source. Apart from that, humans and bees have very little in common.
 

Yes, but I don't get the point of your question.
 

This is a bold claim. Please back it up.
 

Is this a threat?

My chances are phenomenally low as it is. Why do you lessen my chances through your spite-laden posturing? Do you not appreciate that life is a gift any way you look at it? with or without a conscious entity doing the giving in this sense? Why would anyone knowing that life is a gift treat their fellow humans the way you have treated me?

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.