Inundated With
Religious E-Mails
Gabriel Roxas

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gabriel Roxas"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Monday, August 21, 2000 5:06 PM

One does not reason with a fundamentalist anything.

That is the whole point of fundamentalism: "I, like all humans, am a flawed and/or evil, and thus relegate all my thinking to the religious organization's leadership" (or, as they see it, to the deity and its spokespersons and Scripture). Such people do not trust their own powers of reason when it comes to religious matters (though they be normal and intelligent folks in all other respects).

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."
     -- Thomas Paine, The Crisis
          (the series of pamphlets directly
          responsible for sparking the
          American Revolution)

You are welcome to inform your relative that any further religious rantings from her will be forwarded to the Positive Atheism Magazine website for possible publication. We love this stuff!

In lieu of that unwise choice, I fear that your choices are either to block all e-mail or put up with it. One man I know has agreed with his wife that the topic of religion is off limits, and his wife goes along with it. Another friend patiently listens to his father, and has learned to enjoy the conversations, having developed some skills in this respect from his experiences with his father.

My game is that I am always willing to entertain the god claims of theists, while I never lay my atheist trip on anybody. To me, the god claim is a one-way street: they are the ones making the claim, not me; thus, they are the ones who must bring forth strong arguments and evidence for their case. I need not believe it unless they make a strong case. Bu doing this, I deliberately subject myself to these claims in my personal life. My choice in this situation is whether to respond with counter-arguments.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gabriel Roxas"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 12:53 AM

Many atheists and groups are working on this one. We at Positive Atheism are working it from the other end: the more culturally acceptable atheism is made to seem, the more likely the vast majority of atheists will raise their profiles and come out of the closet. This is why I emphasize popularizing the "weak" definition for atheism, that an atheist simply lacks a god belief. For the Roman Catholic Church and others to state that an atheist "asserts that no gods exist" is in their best interests because that position is clearly untenable. They want their "sheep" to think that the atheistic position is unrealistic, so we counter by showing that it is all too realistic.

Faith itself is rarely as dogmatic as they make atheism out to be. An atheist with as much "faith" as they portray us as having ("No gods exist, period.") is as easy to knock down as a straw man. That's why we need to counter by saying that most atheists simply lack a god belief.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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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.