Some Maturity Please?
Brian Patrick Fogarty

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From:"Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Brian Patrick Fogarty"
Subject: Re: Some maturity please?
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 2:16 PM

Yes. Most of my overseas friends consider America to be somewhat insular (I had to look that one up -- island-like).

Cliff Walker has undergone some changes in the past two years, especially since parting company with United States Atheists. Positive Atheism is, among other things, my attempt to discover an atheism that is both productive and inviting. This is no easy deal, and I thank you for your comments.

You can compare three editorials that deal with people writing letters: Earlier: (cliff76.htm -- June, 97); Later: (cliff94.htm -- April, 99), (cliff8b.htm -- Nov. 98).

Yes, when I find someone being dishonest, I tend to call them on it, even up to this day (eml9925.htm). But I do not, and never have, liked the ad hominem approach.

And no. I am not going to hide the past. I agree with you that behavior such as logging on to AOL "flaming" theists on the religion boards accomplishes nothing. This is why I have stopped doing that and have (thus far silently) changed my ways.

However, what, do you think, is a proper approach in a discussion where your views are misrepresented and then "refuted" by an opponent (the straw-man approach)? When such confusion is injected into the conversation, it is difficult to sort it out without sounding mean and ornery. But then, to ignore such letters is to abandon the purpose of the web page: to learn how to respond to the arguments and questions and accusations that come our way.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Brian Patrick Fogarty"
Subject: Re:
Date: Thursday, April 08, 1999 9:41 AM

This is good. I am currently composing a response to a friend of the poor fellow I "flamed" yesterday (I have not posted it). His argument is based on an uncommon (improper?) use of the word "faith" and confusing this use with the traditional use of the word, and I have tried to be very careful in addressing this.

I will spend some more time with what you say, as I think this is the single most important discussion that has occurred since I established out on my own.

Also, I have begun to reorganize the Letters section. Someone has agreed to help me with the work.

Meanwhile, I must spend the day at the doctor's office, because my left thumb has started twitching on its own, and writing, for me, was already tedious before this started happening.

I hope you continue to offer suggestions and criticism of our approach, because this is no easy deal for me. If you care to take a crack at some of our letters, I will post your response. You may have noticed that some of the letters have several responses, that have been tacked on over the years.

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.