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Tuesday, August 06, 2002                                                                                       View Comments

Is This Necessary?

Hi Dave,

I am interested in the atheist / christian debate and have therefore spent some time in your website. I am initially shocked at the personal attacks made on christians themselves as distinct from their beliefs. I read your testimony and was interested to see that you counted yourself among them once.

From what I gather (please correct me if I'm wrong) it would seem that, in time, you were intellectually unable come to terms with much of the teachings of christianity. Your own sense of reason overcame the 'bondages of faith' if I can put it that way.
Now, I can see where this can become a very emotive issue (as indicated by the letter to you from Janine), but what I fail to understand is why no one FROM EITHER SIDE seems to be willing or capable of entering into a mature debate that doesn't degenerate into a name-calling debacle.

I can understand that both atheists and christians believe themselves to be right. I can also understand that they both can't be. There either is or there isn't a personal, loving God as accepted by christians.

Both claim to be able to get to their viewpoint via the processes of reason and science. Both claim to have evidence to support their view. So, it would seem an ideal forum for debate. Why, then isn't there any?

Dave, I can't help but feel that by the time a christian has gotten to the discussion forums, they have been so belittled and humiliated, not by your arguments against their beliefs, which in many cases seem logical and reasonable, but by the personal (and I might say childish) insulting, name calling that is evident in so many of your articles.

Is that really necessary?

As you will have guessed, I am a christian, and I hold my views from a position of reason and intellect, don't you? I have enough evidence to prove to me that my view is the correct one, don't you? I know beyond doubt that God exists, but don't you know beyond doubt that he doesn't? Christianity can claim that some of the greatest minds on the earth are christian, but can't atheists claim exactly the same thing? I could list many scientists who, for scientific reasons only, accept the Intellegent Design Theory, but you could do exactly the same for the Theory of Evolution.

If I am an idiot for believing what I believe, on the basis I have for believing it, then you are just as big a fool... so why can't we stop the name calling? I'll stop calling you a godless bastard :-) and lets get on with the debate.

Regards

Nev Randle

Nev,

I suppose nothing on this site at all is necessary, but I believe you misunderstand the purpose of this site. I designed this site as a place for ExChristians to be encouraged, and often that means ranting. I added the "discussion board" because so many "Christians" wanted to voice their opinion, which meant I was responding to a ton of sermonette emails.

I do not refuse emails such as yours, in fact they are often posted on the "Letters to the Webmaster" pages, however, if you really feel compelled to know what people think about this topic, then that is what the discussion board is for. I am not particularly interested if anyone is deconverted because of these pages. I am only interested in letting those with serious doubts understand they are not alone.

The emotions associated with becoming deconverted are as powerful as those associated with converting. They are quite normal, and if they are distasteful to you, just imagine how distasteful the zealously emotional Christian appears to the non-christian.

One question, do you see anything wrong with the Christian attacks on the non-believers, apart from the ideas they talk about? I thought the Christian was supposed to turn the other cheek and glory in persecution. Seems this sort of personal attack you are lamenting is a human trait regardless of beliefs, convictions, or the holy ghost's indwelling spirit.

Regards,

Dave VanAllen