Comfort In Incongruity,
Freedom In Illogic
Even some people who reject the notion of deity, derive comfort from imagining that there is someone in control of the cosmos. You can note that this is incongruous, but the human being is sextile and can be an atheist in one of his sections and a theist in the other. One of the jobs of the human mind is to create and maintain comfort. If this is achieved by incongruity, it is not inconsistent with the function of the mind.
Moreover, there is freedom in illogic. People often complain that logic is a tyrant. I do not deny that some people are rigorists in the practice of logic, but self-indulgence is always a temptation and is not met with very frequent resistance.
I like your program.
From: "Positive Atheism" <email@example.com>
To: "Charles Miller"
Subject: Re: opinion
Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 10:52 AM
I sometimes imagine that certain people have a passion for escaping similar in intensity to the passion I have for facing and confronting and wondering. I cannot imagine being like them, and am willing to admit that they could not imagine being like me. This is why I've always erred on the side of tolerance, and have strived for full-boat acceptance whenever possible.
Thomas Paine made a good case that tolerance, while better than what we today call bigotry, is not good enough. Tolerance, he says, still assumes that "we" are right and "they" are wrong, and then proceeds to let "them" thrive despite the "fact" that "they" are wrong. Your letter displays a fine grasp of what Paine would have called acceptance, compared to which tolerance is inadequate.
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