[FoRK] Christians and atheists start a calmer dialogue

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Thu May 10 06:03:31 PDT 2007

Thanks for writing that.  Excellent.  We're getting a pretty good series 
of articles going now.


Tom Higgins wrote:
>> On May 9, 2007, at 5:48 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
>> > So both are willing to sit down together in different venues,
>> > discuss their divergent perspectives, and, in some cases, jointly
>> > visit church services across the United States.
> I go to church every Sunday, I go to pot lucks, I go to bible study
> and ya know what...no one (except for a very select few and even then
> only on a very select few topics) want to hear me talk about not
> believing in the invisible make believe god and frankly I do not think
> that is the place to do it. They are there not to disbelive but to
> belive, its would be like showing up at a Yankees game with a Mets cap
> on, its like goign to the opera and demanding they do a full
> retrospectove of the Sex Pistols.
> It would be like forcing he teaching of religious doctoring over
> science in a science class...oh wait,.....
> When people go to church you know what they want?
> They want to hear the Jesus loves them, that their cherry picked parts
> of the bible cover all that could happen in their life and if those
> "other" parts get mentioned well then just chuckle and pity the
> unbeliever who did not get the memo that things have been
> reinterpreted yet the text is still the most perfect and holy, that
> arms grow back on those who get prayer, that there is a place after
> death where they sit near to their god etc etc etc.
> Many of them also want fellowship, to sit and talk to folks who belive
> like they do, to examine thier lives with others who share the same
> framework.
> They are not all creepy and bizarre though Jeff, some are nice folks
> who got some bizarre belief system. Many do not even buy into the ting
> hook line and stinker. For instance Demons...there are some in
> churches who hold that Demons are very eal and very much at work in ou
> lives while others in the same chuch shrug and think the metaphore
> went out of bounds into the twilight zone. Yet they are both in the
> same church. Its not as cut and dried as saying they are all over the
> hedge.
> Talking to folks at church , for the most part, is like talking to
> anyone else. Sometimes though..Sometimes its like talking to a
> Republican who thinks their vote for Bush did not send them to nightly
> reenactments of "out damn spot", sometimes its like talking to
> Democrats who know, for sure, how people need to live in order for it
> all to be better and will legislate that by hook or by crook,
> sometimes its like talking to people who play way way way too much
> D&D(insert game system that eventually becomes a lifestyle choice) and
> has forgotten that in life that ring of heat resistance does not in
> fact give them a major advantage on a Save Vs Spilled Coffee.
> The notion though of getting atheists to go to church to come to some
> sort of middle ground is ludicrous.  If you do not believe in  Santa
> Claus then no amount of hanging our with the All Year Santa Fan Club
> decking the halls and making sure your not naughty will not some how
> solve the bottom line fact that Santa is historic mole hill that has
> been turned into Mt Everest. For those that have dedicated their lives
> to Jesus and the way of life he has prescribed (ok his
> followers...wait only a couple of the stories where from folks who
> were actually on the scene the others got it second or third hand but
> its still the perfect living word of god) I do not think there is an
> option to come to a middle ground with any other faith let alone those
> with a lack of faith, other than to the extent they have interpreted
> the bible to allow them to do things like be nice to the Jews or not
> snicker too loudly at the Baptist or suffer the nice folks who simply
> were born in the wrong place and were forced to be Muslims.
> A dialog would require the same languages to be understood or at the
> very least a common set of logical underpinnings  from which to grow
> an understanding. In the case of the faithful and the faithless this
> is, imnsfho, outside the scope of both side. To the faithful the
> faithless is simply lacking faith and that is the problem , to the
> faithless the faithful are full of it and see that as a problem.
> Meanwhile the ongoing and unceasing damage is being done not only to
> ourselves but everything around us , generations of potential get
> stifled at best or killed off at worst, pogroms go on under other
> names, the klan builds more summer camps, the evangelicals fight hard
> to keep gays from getting the same rights as they have, the faithfull
> bend to thier knees multiple times a day and pray
> yea pray
> ball of confusion
> hey hey
> So this detante your talking about...what exactly do you think is
> going to happen????
> -tomhiggins
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