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Archived Letters

Saturday, February 08, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Good afternoon Dave, You wrote today:

Deciding right from wrong is not an easy task, and although books like the Bible do offer some general guidelines and wisdom in some areas, to say that any of these books are the last word on morality is too simplistic. Morality, like every other aspect of human society, will continue to develop and change as time goes on just like every other aspect of reasoning and thought.


Christianity might be more compelling if adopting its lifestyle imparted your respect for people and genuine concern for their well being. It’s ironic and more sad than humorous. I mean quite sincerely that I find these character traits more natural in your personality than I do in my own. As a Christian that is a humbling observation to accept – but no less true. As I have said before insights are always true. Whether they are yours, mine or Scriptural is irrelevant.

The Hebrew/Christian Scripture set was written over a period of at least 1600 years, and two millennia have passed since the last author died. My entire belief system has shifted in less than a decade, twice. With hind sight it’s pretty easy to see how and why my perspective has changed. The true nature of things has of course remained constant my entire life. Reality was in 1800 BC as it is now in 2003 AD, and will remain completely intact long after my DNA performs its last biochemical reaction. Human beings wrote every book of the Bible and I am quite confident that their points of view were as dynamic as my own, so why would I seek after their literal understanding of morality? What I do hold onto are the insights that compelled these men to share their inspiration with me. Separating insight from inspiration from belief is a normal human brain function. Recognizing whether insight is from the mind of God requires knowing him first. How does that work?

You have offered a tremendous opportunity for people to get to know you, and I am glad I took the time to do so. Your website reflects attributes of your personality and character, but what you write yourself is distinctly who you are as an individual. When I read the material here I learn what others think and believe. Inferable aspects of your character are expressed indirectly through what you choose to publish while the baseline to accurately make such assessments is available only from what you choose to directly express yourself. I have no difficulty separating in my mind whose thoughts are whose, but if I did not first know you as a unique person, all I could successfully do is separate my thinking from the influence of others. You on the other hand have consciously chosen to provide any reader who cares to receive it direct insight into you the individual. A god who is there could easily do the same.

With a true revelation of yourself as a basis anyone with the tenacity to do so could effortlessly identify your thoughts precisely among the hundreds of separate documents that are recorded here, even if every name, email address and personal reference were removed. With as little as I have provided these past few months, you could identify me specifically whether or not I signed my name. With a little more tenacity you could read from anyone who took my perspective seriously and know with confidence whether my thoughts inspired their beliefs. An insight from God would be inspirational much like that.

True things do not always reflect the fullness of reality. Here I am as ignorant as the next man. Of relevance is whether my awareness of God is true like my awareness of you because Scripture is clearly as real as this website. Debating worldview is like a blind man trying to persuade a sighted man that color is a function of imagination. From one perspective color is truly a mere creation of the mind. Likewise my own theism is not valuable to anyone because awareness to one man is point of view to another. My way of thinking is beneficial so I offer that as an insight.

It is a great pleasure getting to know you.

Respectfully,

David Hooten

(This is a personal letter. Publish it at your discretion, but consider that I wrote this to you.)

    I understand that you wrote it to me David, but you wrote it to me in regards to this site. Therefore your observations are relevant to this site, so I post them so as to be holistic. I am sure you understand.

    Thank you for your insights.

    Dave VanAllen