so pleased to receive the email you're about to read. The original
email address has been confirmed with the letter on the right. I
believe the rest of this speaks for itself.
13 Sep 2004
About a year ago I wrote you a couple of emails which was hate mail
(well not really "hate" mail, more like "your-site-kinda-bothers-me"
mail). You actually did write me back a couple of times and although
our correspondence started out somewhat civil I think I got a bit
snippy towards the end. After going back and reading them I am now
rather embarrassed about them. Anyway I guess I am just writing
to tell you that those emails actually were the beginning of the
end for me about Christianity. And so I thought you might be interested
in hearing the story, since your site was the catalyst for that.
time I had wrote you, I was a Christian and had been for most of
my life (20+ years), and was going through a period of questioning
about my beliefs. Well it turns out that after you and I corresponded,
I received about 6 or 7 emails from fans of your site, which were
actually pretty nice, considering how nonsensical my emails were
to you. A couple people suggested some books for me to read, and
2 or 3 others I ended up corresponding with for awhile after that,
just casually debating our beliefs. One person I corresponded with
for many months, and that person was very influential in bringing
me to where I am now. Although I am not going to give his name out,
I thank him for his patience and his ability to get me to take a
purely objective look at Christianity, from the point of a skeptic.
I guess out of arrogance I would never admit to him that he really
was getting me to think, but he did. I guess my point here is that
just because a Christian does not appear to be responding to reason
does not mean they aren't....it may just mean that they don't want
to admit you might have a good point :-).
after almost a year of very painful evaluation of my beliefs, I
have finally come to the conclusion that I am an atheist. I didn't
leave Christianity out of anger, or hurt, or because I wanted a
license to sin. Basically, I just no longer believed. It was even
a little sad. There is really nothing about my morality or ethics
that has changed since I left, other than a quick glance at the
OT of the Bible makes me question if Christianity is really all
that "moral" to begin with. I made a brief stop as an agnostic,
but decided that while I don't "know" that no god(s) exist, I don't
believe they do, so why bother calling myself an agnostic.
point I don't hate Christians, I don't think they are stupid (generally),
and I don't think they are bad people (generally). I think many
might be just like I was.....they just don't think about what they
believe. And I think there is a reason for that: they don't recognize
that faith is not knowledge. The reason I didn't question things
before is I thought I "knew" most of these things were true, when
really I just "believed" they were true, through faith. I think
unless someone can honestly and objectively separate the known from
the believed, there isn't really any reason to question what is
already "known" [to be true], and therefore life as a Christian
goes on as usual.
I apologize for being uppity before, and I am glad some of your
readers to the time to email me and were respectful instead of defensive.
I think that's what got me to think.
2 Feb 2003
found your site to be offensive, completely tasteless,
and lacking any moral character (hopefully you will not
take this as a compliment).
Today I found your
website totally by accident, by searching on the phrase "is
God real". And I must say I found your site to be offensive,
completely tasteless, and lacking any moral character (hopefully
you will not take this as a compliment). However I am not
writing to bash you or to judge you personally, since it is
your right to express your opinion. I guess I am just writing
to find out what is to be gained by it. My guess is that you
are somehow trying to prove your own intelligence, while at
the same time trying to prove the lack of intelligence you
believe to be inherent within Christian people and Christianity
itself. But I won't be that presumptuous.
My yahoo search
pulled up several sites offering various rationales for why
God exists, (or in your case does not exist), and yours was
the 5th site that was returned. I am a Christian, although
until recently I had never asked myself why I choose to believe
in something for which there is! no physical evidence or proof.
Since I tend to believe things based on logic and science
rather than faith, this is something that has been troubling
to me. At any rate, it may come as no surprise to you that
after reading the information returned in my search, I sill
have yet to find physical evidence that God exists.
The first thing
I wondered after browsing your site was "who is Bob, and what
exactly does this person believe?". Unless I missed something,
I came to the conclusion that you believe in no God, and no
higher intelligence. Feel free to correct my assumption if
I am wrong. In my mind it seems reasonable to conclude that
if one does not believe in a higher intelligence, then one
must believe that our existence, our universe and everything
contained within is nothing more than coincidence. In laymans
terms, one day a random series of events occurred and the
universe "became". And after further random events, you and
I evolved - purely by coincidence - fro! m the chaos. Due
to lack of physical proof, this theory is equally as unsubstantiated
as the belief that there is a God. In fact, randomness by
nature contains no intelligence, so this theory would almost
seem to be less preferable to science than believing in God.
Science can always prove the events that occurred to bring
us where we are today (the "what"), but it can never explain
a purpose for randomness (the "why"). To try and explain a
method for something random would be futile and illogical,
since the two are mutually exclusive. And one who does prove
a method simply proves that something was never random to
begin with, which suggests underlying intelligence (i.e. God).
It seems that if
one is to believe that we coincidentally "happened", it must
be based on faith, the same faith I exercise in choosing to
believe in God. Some might say I am a fool, but it really
seems no more foolish than someone believing that one day
the universe just spontaneously regurgita! ted itself out
of nothing. I am not saying that is what you believe, but
I am saying if you don't believe in God it doesn't seem there
is much else to choose from. I suppose one could choose to
not think about any of this and go have a beer, however ignorance
does not make the question go away. Bottom line, one either
believes in intelligence (God), no intelligence (coincidence),
or simply remains ignorant. And to take that a step further,
does one who believes in coincidence thereby invalidate his
own intelligence and ability to exercise logic? Interesting
I also just wanted
to say that I think you are painting Christians with a wide
brush when you classify them as being "sugar and spice, everything
is nice" type of persons. I donšt remember the exact phrasing
but I recall you alluding to it somewhere on your site. I
am a Christian yet I listen to nine inch nails, I go to clubs,
and I sometimes smoke pot. Big deal, it is my belief that
God does not save on! ly the sugar and spice Christians and
cast the pot smoking Christians into hell (since the sugar
and spice people are far from without their own sin), but
judges each person based on ones acceptance of salvation and
what one feels in their heart that makes the determination.
Anyway I guess
I would like to know why you chose to mock something that
is so sacred to so many people? I suppose you are making a
statement of some sort, but it is not clear to me what that
statement is. Can you explain?
P.S. I will be
curious to know if you post this and respond publicly.
I still don't understand
how the idea of an all-encompassing living being is somehow
more believable than the apparent commonness of events occurring
without being triggered by someone. You keep using the word
"coincidence" as if it's some unfathomable occurrence that
cannot be proven or reasoned. In my opinion random coincidence
is the basic structure of life. I do not believe in the opposing
viewpoint that everything happens for a reason. This would
suggest predetermination, puppet masters, the possibility
of time travel and even fortune telling.
A star in outer
space does not implode because a living being scripted it
to happen and/or controlled the events that lead up to the
final result. An autumn leaf does not fall to the ground because
it's all part of a larger more complicated plan. And despite
how much it may hurt to hear Steve you were not born onto
planet earth under a watchful eye in the sky steering you
in the directions He has plotted.
You are a random
life with the sole responsibility of making it what you will.
This is the biggest crime a belief in God commits; robbing
you of the opportunity to do what you want with this one life.
A life that stood a billion to one chance of happening...
but it did, just like every other human life, planet earth,
our universe and the very first dot that ever existed.
The reason you
have chosen to believe something for which there is no evidence
is because you cannot fathom non-existence. No one really
can, and that is why man invented God. Some people live happier
lives living in a fantasy, while others only appreciate their
life lived in complete reality.
Believe what you
will, but if you're changing the rules for your acceptance
into paradise to suit that which makes your human heart feel
good then the mockery of your beliefs should be expected.
I hope that I answered
6 Feb 2003
if you add in our ability to feel happy, sad, anger, etc.
and it becomes even more convulted... nobody can explain
where any of these human properties came from or what
purpose they serve.
Bob, Thank you
for responding. After I wrote my letter I spent a little more
time looking at your website, although I still find some of
it offensive, there are parts of it that are kinda cool. It
definitely makes one think. Oddly, it actually helped me reaffirm
my belief in God. So.... although I would not go so far as
to say I am a fan, you do appear to be an intelligent, creative
person and I can respect that.
Did you answer
my question? More or less. As for your response to my letter,
I think I need to clarify what I was trying to say. I was
hardly suggesting that coincidence and randomness don't occur
in life, or that every event (such as a leaf falling off a
tree) is part of some greater master plan. Coincidence occurs
naturally every day in life, just as premeditated, planned
events occur naturally every day in life. And events can occur
in both contexts, i.e. I can consiously decide to throw a
handful of quarters in the air and watch them randomly fall
where they may. I also wasn't saying that the act of randomness
itself cannot be proved or rationalized, but that the initiation
of the act of randomness cannot, as in the example of me throwing
a handful of quarters that randomly fall to the floor. Sure,
if you see me throw the quarters that is proof I did it. But
if you walk into the room 5 minutes later to see quarters
randomly laying on the floor, you would have no idea how they
got there. Therefore, can we prove (or disprove) that a higher
intelligence didn't initiate a random formation of the universe?
No we can't.
I was also trying
to say that it is hard for me to conclude that our own intelligence
originated from random nothingness. Intelligence which controls,
decides, plans and removes randomness from what we know as
reality. Where did that originate? You don't know, I don't
know, nobody knows. Then if you add in our ability to feel
happy, sad, anger, etc. and it becomes even more convulted.
What evolutionary need could we possibly have had to allow
us to feel pity? or disappointment? In terms of basic survival,
who gives a rats ass? Do we feel pity because it just randomly
popped up out of nowhere? You can apply logic, rationalism,
empiricism, or any other methodology for acquiring knowledge
you believe in, and nobody can explain where any of these
human properties came from or what purpose they serve. And
it is for that very reason that I cannot conclude with any
degree of certainty that there is no God or higher intelligence,
and we are here purely by coincidence.
Maybe you are
right, maybe mans concious awareness of his own death prompted
a need to invent God. Maybe not. My point is that while the
simplist answer may usually be the best answer, in this case
we have no answer at all.
If you cannot
see evidence of the evolutionary chain of life in the animal
kingdom, if you think that no one has an explanation for why
we're able to survive, or that without eyewitnesses a room
scattered with quarters cannot be proven then you've got a
lot more learning to do.
The rational you
use to justify God gave me a tiny headache. Now I understand
that your belief is out of sheer and utter ignorance.
8 Feb 2003
was right, you only appear intelligent.
you cannot see evidence of the evolutionary chain of life
in the animal kingdom...blah, blah"
I was questioning how the evoluation of human emotion was
relevant to survival. not sure how the above statement fits
anywhere in that context.
eye-witnesses a room scattered with quarters cannot be proven"
fine, lets make it super simple for you. subsitite rocks scattered
in the desert for quarters on a floor. i didn't leave any
footprints or tiretracks and there are no witnesses. you can't
prove I put them there, you can only theorize. proof and theory
is not the same thing, check your dictionary for help
"I cannot conclude with any degree of certainty that there
is no God". This is harldy a justification. If you need help,
again refer to your dictionary
Your responses just seem to be your attempt to get the last
word in rather than discuss or debate. That along with your
increasing drivel makes continuing any further with this futile.
I was right, you
only appear intelligent.
8 Feb 2003
no-one has clearly defined God, it is a logical step to
say that God is -"something", and that this "something"
caused the Universe to come into being.
I will just leave
you with this final question, not that will will answer it,
or that it even matters:
If you don't believe
in God, then just answer how the Universe come into being?
Whether you believe
it was a cosmic anomaly, or whether I believe it was a super-powerful
being that exists outside of our time-space continuum is irrelevant.
It is so because it is "something". Since no-one has clearly
defined God, it is a logical step to say that God is -"something",
and that this "something" caused the Universe to come into
now read the letter on the left.