First posted: Feb 13, 2003

I've been waiting and waiting for this day. Now it's finally happened!
A Hate Mailer Repents
Please don't miss reading the side bar of this particular page.
As always, his emails will be in blue while mine are in black and white.


I was 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.

 

Mon, 13 Sep 2004
Subject: Hello

Dear Bob Smith,
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.

At the 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 :-).

Anyway, 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.

At this 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.

Anyway 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.

Regards.
Steve

Sun, 2 Feb 2003
“I found your site to be offensive, completely tasteless, and lacking any moral character (hopefully you will not take this as a compliment).”

Hi,

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 question.

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.

Steve


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 your question.
Bob


Thu, 6 Feb 2003
“Then 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.

Steve


Steve,

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.

Bob


Sat, 8 Feb 2003
“I was right, you only appear intelligent.”

re: "If 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.

re: "without 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

re: "justify God"
"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

re: "Ignorance"
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.

Steve


Sat, 8 Feb 2003
“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 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 being.

Therefore, God exists.
Steve.


Please now read the letter on the left.
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