Just Wondering Aloud
To: Positive Atheism <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Just wondering aloud
Date: Thursday, May 15, 1997 10:41 PM
Hi. I just came across your web page and read one of your editorials, the one called "What do they think of us" or something to that effect. Anyway it was stated that atheists get lumped together and thats not right. There are radicals and non-radicals. Are christians also lumped together? There are some radicals and some non-radicals there too, what of them? Also are christians really encroaching on your door step, that you have to attack everyone of them? Are christians really taking over this country, that something drastic has to be done? Aren't most militia groups under some form of a christian banner?
One last thought which I'm sure you've heard a MILLION times. If there is no God, why have an organization to prove there is no God? Is it to set all these poor duped christians on the right path of true knowledge? A final thought. Is it easier to prove that there is a God a creator of all of this? Or that there is no God whatsoever? And that we are just here randomly? If there is a God, people will say, "Well my God gives us a choice, we can do what we want." Or well if there is a God why do we have murder, rape, earthquakes, cockroaches, car-jackings, riots and general mayhem? Just a few thoughts at this late hour. I thought of subscribing, but it's too expensive a subscription to spend on a defense of nothing. Correct me if I'm wrong. But I don't see the point in arguing against something that you say don't exist. It's like arguing that I have a invisible Dog and you saying there's no such thing. How can you prove it? I say there it is you don't see it? And you say there's no Dog there! Again am I wrong here? Or what? Am I missing the point? Tell me. Well gotta run. See ya!
Written while Cliff was still a member of Center for Rational Thought.
... called "What do they think of us" or something to that effect. Anyway it was stated that atheists get lumped together and thats not right.
I don't know which editorial you are talking about. Did I write it?
if so, perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Atheists, as a group, get lied
about and misrepresented and subsequently are (sometimes) persecuted, discriminated
against, etc., on the basis of those lies and misrepresentations.
Are christians also lumped together? There are some radicals and some non-radicals there too, what of them?
Most people have no problem with the private religious beliefs of anyone. It is when certain religious people want the rest of us to live according to specific interpretations of specific ancient scrolls that everyone should turn white with fear. This is not really an atheist issue, because if gods are not real, then we lose ought but our dignity. But certain atheists have been jumping up and down about separationism during the past thirty years.
Nevertheless, atheism, being simply the lack of a god-belief, is certainly
no guarantee against bigotry. Many atheists do lump all Christians into
one group -- probably since we atheists, by definition, disagree with believing in superstition, magic, and the supernatural;
to be a Christian, of just about any stripe, is to be a believer in superstition, magic, and the supernatural.
One last thought which I'm sure you've heard a MILLION times. If there is no God, why have an organization to prove there is no God?
This is not the purpose of our organization -- or any atheistic organization, for that matter. We expose sleight-of-hand, and the like, yes. But most atheists who are atheists on philosophical grounds know better than to think that you can (or would even need to) prove a negative.
The main purpose of our organization -- the favorite reason given by the people who hang out in our building -- is to have one place where we can exist without anyone talking any superstitious nonsense or judging us on our lack of religious belief. As such, our center is seen by many as an oasis, of sorts, because at certain times, you must be a paid member to be there, and to be a member, you must declare your atheism.
Another important purpose is to try to restore the wall of separation between state and church in America. Our county was founded as a secular nation. If Ralph Reed and his allies and followers repeat, enough times, that "America was founded as a Christian nation," we fear that a critical mass of people will actually believe him. (Don't laugh: many, many people believe that Jesus died on a cross for their sins!)
The rest of it is to have some fun.
Am I missing the point?
-- Cliff Walker
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.