"Hi. I've been pitching my novel to agents for over a year now and something you mentioned above set off alarm bells.... to whom were you paying $5 or $10 each query? Legitimate agents DON'T charge reading fees. …"
"I've got an IPAD. I pretty much use it just as an e-reader and don't know a whole lot about the other functions. What I like about it is that it's backlit, so I can read in any light, and that I can change the font to suit…"
"Thanks for the invite, Ruth. While you're all sitting there having grown-up stuff like tea and muffins, I'm going with plain, perfect, New York Pizza and some soda. I like to write - short stories and one pain-in-the-butt novel…"
"Exactly, Edward Teach! And you said it better than I could have.
When people ask me what I believe, I tell them that I don't really "believe" anything but that sometimes I am convinced that things are a certain way…"
"Well, I know that's not gonna happen to ME, but I think that any conversion or reconversion to a religious mindset would be driven by a need for either comfort or belonging. I recognize that believers have a warm fuzzy feeling of being watched…"
"Hello. I may be wrong in this, but I interpret your postings on this site as a continuation of your efforts to work through your doubts and questions in an attempt to arrive at your ultimate "belief" system. I applaud that.
But I do have…"
"You were great. Your head didn't explode (mine would have) and you didn't track the idiots down and slap them (I'd have wanted to). You stayed on point, you didn't accept false premises and hence enter into peripheral debates,…"
Hi Miss Elainie . . . my local paper ended up printing a letter from a person in Denmark, who I didn't correspond with directly. It looks like I managed to get enough response to force them to print one. Thanks for your efforts!
Hi MissElainie. I think the editor is on to me! haha. They published a letter from a person in Denmark (!) today on this topic, so my posting has gone around the world.
I think you should tell her your real phone number and address. You can say you have friends in the Cowichan Valley that you visited over Christmas, and that's why you are reading the paper on the internet, if you want to. We're an hour north of Victoria, and 45 minutes south of Nanaimo, and we had an unusual dump of snow over Christmas (which is gone now). You have to take a ferry to get here from either Vancouver or Port Angeles, in Washington State. Beyond that, who your local friends are is none of her business!
Thanks for your good work, 007!
It was easy to miss the address since it was in the middle of a long post. Thank you for your contribution. I try to respond to articles I see here, on Internet Infidels, and on Austin Cline's About Atheism newsletter. It's the only way we can win the battle for public opinion. Volume of responses is, I think, even more important than writing a detailed critique.
Hi Miss Elainie. Thanks for reading my appeal for help. Don't sign up with canada.com, - just send a reply to the newspaper itself. It's more important to get the letter in newsprint than on the web site. I included its email address in the article (firstname.lastname@example.org). The editor is Andrea Rondeau. Thank you so much for your help - I do this to all links I come across, to help other atheists. Flooding editors with letters ensures that at least one will be printed! Cheers, Drew.
Hi again. Didn't answer the second part of your question. No I do not believe in god and do not consider myself "spirtitual." I loved Dawkins' (I think it was him) who described the magical circling know-everything, guiding-everything teapot. Can I prove there is no such magical mystical teapot? Of course not. But I'm about 99.9999999999% sure there isn't. So that would technically make me an agnostic. I've also loved using that example to others who question the rationality of my disbelief. A common response when one substitutes the word magical teapot for god which makes the whole concept sound silly (wasn't that the idea?) is "well, when you put it like that!...."
You got it right. Prayer after prayer thanks god for his (her? its?) benevolence and goodness, for protecting us from evil and harm blah blah blah. Religious doctrine, and it does not matter which religion, posits that any apparent contradiction is because our puny minds can't comprehend The Plan and we are just too dumb to judge. The crack was that the king had no clothes. By any definition I could muster, god was evil and not worthy of my prayers and adulation. That was my immature but questioning 16 yo mind at work. I was more comfortable thinking it was more likely there was no god. That opened the floodgates of inquiry to others who had asked the same questions. The hard part was that there was no one in my sphere I could talk to. All religions I'd ever seen also taught that even questioning is sinful. I felt both boxed in to the beliefs by the rules and boxed out of talking with friends by the same rules and their beliefs. It was a very difficult time. Probably akin to what I imagine gays feel as they discover their sexuality but don't know whom they can trust with their thoughts and feelings. It has been a very long road and still feels like a road I am traveling. This kind of forum is an awesome thing.
Well, I don't think that it was intended to refer to the idea of being smart. It seems like it is better defined in their context as a group that is illuminating on all fronts such as a shining star in a dull world. The other context, being smart, is too nebulous of a term. Smart can be defined in so many different ways and it usually depends on who is defining it. It is too bad that so many people don't have the mental dexterity to understand more than one meaning to a word. I remember in college English, I shocked my Religious Fundamentalist professor when I described the depth of a very religious poem that he gave us compare with a rather dull, negative Greek poem. It was interesting how many words that seemed to be superficial, actually had very deep religious meanings. He was further dismayed because he knew that I was an atheist and a Greek. I don't think that he calling on me before anyone else in the class was a mistake, but it backfired on him. I later paid him back in full when I was able to get the Dean of our college after him by questioning the effectiveness of his teaching methods.