You Amaze Me (What is an Atheist?)
From: Ed Babinski
Thank you for those kind words below. Perhaps you are right.
P.S. Funny, I don't recall having been an atheist. Surely I should recall such a thing if it were true, but then, your definition of atheist probably includes Job and other questioners of God, as well as anyone who doubts the Bible or Christian doctrines. By the way, you should read Dever's new book, he's a major editor at Biblical Archeology magazine (google it up on the web). Even his moderate approach to ancient Near Eastern scholarship shows that the ancient Israelites were primarily descendants of the Canaanites! In fact Hebrew is just a dialect of the Canaanite tongue.
From: Sharon S.
Your claim and anyone else who claims to being an atheist, I find quite halarious.
After all, if you say you don't believe in God, how can you possibly be against something that does not exist??
If I am against smoking, than in order to be against it, than smoking must exist.
Therefore, you must really believe that God does exist.
As I see it, you DO believe in God, you just don't want to follow that path.
Hope You Burn in Hell Ed
From: David Palm
It is interesting to see that there is still an ample supply of idiots in the world as evidenced by your website and book! In my opinion, you were never good enough to be a Christian or a fundamentalist! You obviously have your head so far up your ass that your brain has atropied! Fortunately, you are working at a liberal university where brain dead liberals go when all else fails! Hope you burn in Hell along with all of your other deconverts!!!
From: Ed Babinski
Pleased to make your acquaintance, Dave.
There are other books you might want to look into as well as mine, written by evangelical Christians, such as When Christian Kids Leave the Fold (which contains a heart rending story of a former Christian best friend of the author).
Actually, it isn't atheists or agnostics, but people who compose emails such as the one you sent below (in the mold of a Calvin, a Luther, or a Pope) who make most people want to leave the fold.
Is Ed Babinski an anti-christian?
if Ed *sincerely* believes he is not an anti-Christian, then he is simply self-deluded.
ED: In my own "self-deluded" eyes (as you see them), I remain a truth seeker, rather than simply an "anti-Christian." Christianity was indeed a truth-seeking test case for me (personally, emotionally, and intellectually), involving more variables than you presently even seem aware of. I was a born-again orthodox Christian and prayerful worshipper of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and met and prayed with, and studied with, Christians of a wide variety, from fundametalists to charismatics and even very conservative Reformed Christians. Today I still pray on occasion and address both words and thoughts to a higher power, but I do not believe the things I formerly did about the Bible being inerrant (nor do I find reason enough to accept the inerrancy of any of its countless multitudes of interpreters and commentators -- be they conservative, moderate, or liberal).
Also keep in mind that I am not "anti-Christian" about many things that I have found within Christian thought and culture that I applaud. For instance, Christianity's most universal ethical teachings are among the loftiest found anywhere. Christianity's emphasis on writing (i.e., on a book that was "THE" book), helped, rather than hindered, the development of books and of reading, of literary/scholarly appreciation (over mere barbarism), though for a while the Roman Christian Empire did deny the "philosophers" and downgraded all writings other than those of Christian apologists. Lastly, the multitude of debates and conflicts in the theologico-political sphere, i.e., between Christians, lead indirectly to the development of the Enlightenment and the modern western notion of "religious freedom." Not to mention my appreciation of universalist Christian humanitarians like Florence Nightingale, and Clara Barton (the founder of the American Red Cross).
Neither have I stated anywhere that all forms of Christianity need to be abolished in favor of atheism.
Neither have I stated that history disproves Christianity. My articles merely raise questions as to how it (history) can be used to "prove" miracles (like for instance the resurrection), or how history can be used to demonstrate claims of the inherent supernatural superiority of Christianity.
Also, "Anti-Christianity" is a relative term, since both you and I have critiqued "young-earth" creationism, literally understood, and young-earth creationists believe that anyone who interprets the Bible in a more "liberal" fashion, which includes both you and I, are at the very least, "deluded." The same goes for a variety of Christians who now hold (or who have held in the past) divisive Biblical interpretations concerning one matter or another, and who are certain that those who hold interpretations contrary to theirs, are "deluded."
What I am in an absolute sense is a truth-seeker, and I give that benefit of a doubt to anyone else who wishes to discuss what they believe.
And since I never was a member of other religions, and since I live in the "Bible Belt," rather than the "Buddhist Belt," I feel no desire to get into it with Buddhists or Muslims or Hindus. Though I have read about ex-Muslims who do "get into it" with dogmatic Muslims. See the book of testimonies, WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM. Of course conservative Muslims probably are keen to label such folks not as simply "ex-Muslims," but as "anti-Muslims," instead of allowing that an ex-Muslim could very well be a truth seeker and that their search for truth led them away from the doctrines and dogmas of Islam that they once took for granted.
I also have a keen interest in philosophy, especially the problem of consciousness, and have found that even Christian philosophers of religion lay on different sides of major questions, including the question of "eternal hell" and the question of "mind-body dualism versus monism," to name just two such questions. See for instance Section 3, "Issues Within Religion" of the following book, published by the Society of Christian Philosophers:
Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Religion
Synopsis: This book comes highly recommended based on the reputation of the principal editor, Michael Peterson, as managing editor of the journal Faith and Philosophy, published by the Society of Christian Philosophers. [Part I deals with Attacks on Religion, but Part III deals with unresolved philosophical Issues Within Religion.]
Part III: Issues within Religion:
7. Can Only One Religion Be True?
8. Does God Take Risks in Governing the World?
9. Does God Respond to Petitionary Prayer?
10. Is Eternal Damnation Compatible with the Christian Concept of God?
11. Is Morality Based on God's Commands?
12. Should a Christian Be a Mind-Body Dualist?
You know it's going to be a bad day when...
Ed Falsely Accused of Murdering Jesus
I read your site dedicated to your rejection of Christianity, you have certainly worked hard! I too have rejected institutional Christianity but not the Faith itself. One thing I find objectionable on your acount is that you shamelessly use the deaths of the heretics as martyrs for your athiest cause whilst aknowledging the depth of their Christian Faith don't you find this a bit hypocritical? Its a bit like if you got run down by a truck and I started revising history and reworking you into a martyr for the protestant heretic cause. How could I word it? Ah yes after years of enslavement to ruthless athiest delusions and tyranny that drove him to his death Ed stands as a witness as to why we should consider our souls and his life is a witness against atheism and unbelief throughout the ages. How can atheism live with itself to know it was resposible for Ed being run down by that truck and countless other atheists like him. Ok I am guilty of sarcasm but those heretics died for explicit reasons regarding their beliefs that they would not recant on they were the victims and the persecuters, that includes the world and the institutional antichrist churches have no right to bathe in thier blood to revel in their evil war against the God those people died for, - have you know fear of judgement? You killed Christ and his saints, yes and their blood rests on you, repent or perish.
CHOSEN and Predestined to the election and salvation of God by his GRACE from the FOUNDATION of the world.
From: Edward T. Babinski
Bill, I had no idea that I was an "atheist" nor do I have any idea what you are saying above.
From: Harry N.
Seeing you had a commentary about a book by Colson I thought I'd share one experience with you. You're probably aware of all the fuss about the James' ossuary. Well in May of this year in an article by Chuck at the Christian Times ( www.christiantimes.com ) he was falling all over himself about how this this find helped to vindicate the bible etc etc. Well it wasn't long after that, that the Israeli authority for antiquities declared the whole thing a fraud. So I wrote the folks there asking if Chuck was now going to print a retraction. Here I am, still waiting for "hell to freeze over" :-) I guess once a liar (for Nixon) always a liar (now for religion). I see a lot of similarities between Chuck and the apostle Paul, they're both consummate salesmen......................cheers.............Harry
From: Ed Babinski
I first met Chuck back when I was a Christian and he was addressing a crowd at Princeton, a campus Christian society had asked him to speak about his new bestselling book, BORN AGAIN, the story of his conversion. He's been a Christian media darling ever since. He used to have a sign above his desk during his Tricky Dicky years at the White House that said, "Grab them by the balls, their hearts will follow." He's been taking no prisoners ever since. Or should I say, trying to grab prisoners by the balls for Christ, ever since? (I'm speaking of his Prison Ministries, which by the way counts its successes only by its successes, for instance, if a prisoner takes Chuck's Jesus course in prison and gets out and lands a job he's considered as a "graduate" of Chuck Colson's prison course. But if the prisoner takes the course, gets out of prison and doesn't land himself a job, he's considered a "non-graduate" of the course. So of course, their rate of "graduates" who get jobs in the outside world is higher than that of most other prison organizations that try to change people for the better. But that's only because they discount everyone who doesn't succeed at getting a job as a "non-graduate" of their course! Interestingly, if you count everyone who TAKES the course in prison, not just the folks who get jobs afterwards, their success rate is LOWER than the average recidivism rate! So honestly speaking, Chuck's prison course is not a success at all, rate wise, it's a failure. If the prisoners spent more time with job education and education in general than with Bible classes they'd do better when they got out. Heck, TM and Scientology boast even lower recidivism records than Chuck's prison Christian ministries, check out their claims on the web.
Invitation to read the Bible
You are entitled to your "I believe", but what does that prove? I don't know if you have read the bible or not but I would if I were you, just so you know what is in it, you can't see it coming true if you don't know what it says is going to happen, this is a purely logical thought, right?
All I know is what has happened in my life, and I hope it happens in yours, and it is all good!
From: Ed Babinski
Dear Mr. Robbins,
Thank you for the invitation to read the Bible (I have, in several translations -- I was a conservative born again Christian in high school and throughout college and for several years after college), and for the invitation to "see it coming true," and to share the "good' that happened in your life. Since we both have read the Bible, and since I do not intend to argue how "good or badly" you perceive your own life to be, the only topic left for us to discuss is the matter of "seeing the Bible coming true," and I don't see the need for me to discuss that with you since there are plenty of Preterist Christians on the internet who do not believe that today's politics has anything to do with the Bible's predictions. So you can argue such matters with fellow Christians, and you should, since otherwise you may think I am being contrary simply because our beliefs differ.
You may of course read my replies at my website to someone else who asked me about the Bible's end times prophecies and history: Prophetic Passages
And read my online article, "The Lowdown on God's Showdown"
Another Deconversion Testimony
From: Jason M.
I'm an old correspondent of yours. :-) I just thought you'd like this deconversion story I found: Ken and Charlene Testimony
Based from this homepage: Ken Testimony
Ken's deconversion testimony is probably the most captivating, sincere, detailed, and dramatic I've read. He even mentions reading your book too! If you ever write a second edition for your book, Ken's would make an awesome addition.
Thanks a lot Jason!
Steve Locks over at LEAVING CHRISTIANITY, also collects detailed deconversion testimonies.
From England with Kudos
Congratulations on your informative and frequently hilarious site (or rather web ring).
Like many English people I once assumed that religion was a dead letter in this country, a faintly embarrassing leftover from the past which appealed mainly to middle-aged, middle-class Conservative matrons of the hanging and flogging persuasion. This was in the days before our glorious leader Tony Blair, a man whose determination to make Britain the 51st state of the Union, eagerness to get on his knees in prayer with President Bush and enthusiasm for "faith-based" education has shaken me out of my complacency. It seems very appropriate that Mrs Blair is not only a practicing Catholic but a believer in any New Age junk that, to quote "This Is Spinal Tap", wafts through her transom - truly our First Couple have everything for the new Age of Unreason...
A few comments on some of the subjects you mention:
The ghastly Mother Teresa: she accepted a million dollar donation from Savings and Loans conman Charles Keating which both she and her successor refused to discuss, let alone pay back. I wonder how many well-meaning people who donated toys to her order knew that she disapproved of such things because the infant Jesus had no toys to play with (wouldn't you think his stepfather Joseph might have made him some wooden ones?!) Apparently donated toys were sold to local shops and markets. Mother Teresa fits perfectly into the unsavoury gang of fruitcakes, fanatics and fascists which the present Pope deems worthy of sainthood and beatification.
"Lauren Stratford" of Satanic abuse fame: this lady recently resurfaced in the guise of an Auschwitz survivor. She obviously needs psychiatric help, not the attention from a credulous media and public she so obviously craves. No doubt it's only a matter of time before she tries to pose as an alien abductee, or perhaps that's a bit passe nowadays.
I could go on but I won't. Keep up the good work!
Julia, York, England
From: "ed babinski"
Thanks for the kudos on the edwardtbabinski.us sites!
And thanks for the heads up on Lauren Stratford's last incarnation, as a "child holocaust survivor."
Best, Edward T. Babinski
Go Read "When Skeptics Ask" by Norman Geisler
From: [ mailto:jjm.... ]Joe
Go to Amazon.com and look up, then buy, When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler.............If you have read anything that Till has written about Geisler, don't believe it.
Have a good day! From just another person whom Christ died for ~
I've read Geisler, even his Theological Word Book in which he tries to argue that the Hebrew "raquia" (firmament) was not solid (he cites all the verses that depict it as a solid object and its root which means "to pound and flatten, used of metal and earth" but he rejects the conclusion of all other commentators and scholars in favor of his own more "evangelical and true" non-solid interpretation).
Joey, once you have read dozens of books by scholars from all branches of Christendom, then you will learn how narrow your fundamentalist worldview and fundamentalist scholarship really is.
Best, Edward T. Babinski (former born again fundamentalist Christian)
Leaving the Fold
From: "Harry N."
I recently got my hands on a used copy of your book "Leaving the Fold" and have to say it is really an outstanding collection of the experiences of the individual authors. It's also a big plus reading the experiences of people who have spent years studying Christianity and the Bible from all angles and being able to tap into their knowledge. As I've come to learn over the last many months doing my own "seeking", it can be a daunting task to review the historical context of the time, the competing mystery religions etc etc. I think Farell Till said it best in one his debates on the secular web, when he said the average guy in the pew has no idea how his religion came about.
Upon reflection I also thought it highly bizarre that decades and centuries later, many Christians willingly died for their beliefs, yet the apostles all abandoned Jesus at the time of his arrest. I mean, if I had hung out with someone for three years who could perform real miracles like raising the dead, that person would have my unswerving loyalty to the end. Heck, we know of people who have died for their cult leaders throughout time, yet the accomplishments of these cult leaders aren't even in the same league as the "biblical Jesus".
Anyways thanks for a great book..............best regards.............Harry
Reading Your Book: Leaving the Fold
ED: "Young-earth creationist" kind of "mental?"
and I am loving your book.
ED: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it's chicken soup for the damned soul (maybe "spicy hot chili" would be a better analogy?).
Are you in regular dialogue with Christians?
ED: Just a few.
Have you been successful in helping some actually study the bible objectively therefore reaching the same reasonable conclusion?
ED: No one likes being told what to read or how to think. (Just look at Iraq.)
I cannot believe, as the further I get away from my Southern Baptist beliefs, that millions upon millions of intelleget people still believe this stuff and believe it with fierce devotion. I scream in my mind "HOW?!"
ED: I'll tell you how, Death is frightening, and absolute truth is intoxicating.
If you are ever in the Tampa area speaking, or if there is an organization you recommend joining, or any symposiums to attend, I would be delighted to receive info.
ED: I do not travel. I work at a university library in Greenville, S.C. Though I have a website, so I travel mentally. www.edwardtbabinski.us
Also check out a site called, "Leaving Christianity" (easy to remember and google up), run by former fundie Steve Locks who collects web addresses of the latest former fundie testimonies and dialogues with fundie apologists.
Leaving the Fold
Forwarded by JG/LA/UCO on 11/10/2003 11:20 AM
From: John George
Just read your LEAVING THE FOLD in paperback and am much impressed.
We have a mutual friend, Everette Hatcher, who tries harder than most to get the facts straight. Such people are to be appreciated. I was interested that you seem to find some validity in the life after life stuff. Are you aware that Eliz. Kubler Ross, during the last 2 or so years of her life, decried it all and said she was sorry she had caused so many to believe in it? There are also a number of articles and a couple of books which give a scientific explanation of the phenomenon.
It's possible that you would find a couple of books I coauthored of interest: AMERICAN EXTREMISTS: MILITIAS, SUPREMACISTS, KLANSMEN, COMMUNISTS, AND OTHERS; THEY NEVER SAID IT: A BOOK OF FAKE QUOTES; and BE REASONABLE: SELECTED QUOTATIONS FOR INQUIRING MINDS.
I'm a retired Prof of Political Science & Sociology...
Best, John George
Kathleen and Christianity
I enjoyed looking at your site. I would probably identify more with Christianity than any other religion in the world, but am far from a "Christian". I was raised Catholic and while I do share some of the beliefs of other Catholics, there are many that I cannot accept. I don't pray or attend church. I think it's a shame that Jesus's teachings(and other religious leaders) have been twisted around to justify murder, child abuse, war, ignorance, and human rights abuses. Anyway, thanks for the resources!! Kathleen
From: Ed Babinski
Thanks very much Kathleen, I think that every year more folks are beginning to feel the way that you do.
My interpretation of the prophecies of Jesus
ED: Thanks for writing, William!
However, speculation is just that, speculation.
You know so much about God, who told you?
And if you're right, then why isn't agnosticism accepted by God? It would be the most honest outcome of your speculations above.
Near Death Experience
From: Harry N.
I remember in one of your writings how a friend of yours had a very intense NDE and subsequently became a minister. If you had been in his shoes how do you think such an experience would have affected you and do you think it would have changed your theological perspective in any way?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and have a good day! ....................Harry
From: Edward T. Babinski
The friend I mentioned was "Howard Storm," and you can google his name and find his testimony on the internet.
Yes, he had an intensive NDE, though it wasn't on an operating table and nobody declared him dead. He was sick in France in a hospital bed. Nobody noticed him "die" or his heart stop. But he had an intense visionary experience akin to an NDE.
He was in "hell," cried out to God/Jesus and a being of light rescued him and he got to speak with other beings of light, he still cries remembering the whole thing. He asked them what's the best religion and they simply said, whichever one brings you closer to God. He became a Church of Christ minister, that's a liberal Christian denomination. He says he's a Christian in the sense that it's the tradition he's most acquainted with, but he does not down other people or their religions. In that sense, if I had had such an experience, I would be basically where I am at today. I do feel that if there is a spiritual realm, it's of a more universalistic sort than today's evangelical's preach it to be. In fact, universalism was defended by Christians as early as Origin and as late as some of today's evangelicals. Universalism was bigger among evangelicals of the past two centuries than today.
Dr. Hugh Ross and Neanderthals
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 1:02 PM
What do you think of Dr. Hugh Ross' ministry? Are humans related to Neandertal or not or do you care? What percentage of the Bible is accurate or historical?
ED: Yes, humans and neanderthals are related if you go back far enough. And some interbreeding appears to have continued between the two species down the ages. As for "what percentage" of the Bible is true or historical, I don't think that's as reasonable as asking whether or not I believe specific portions of the Bible are true or historical, like the Genesis creation account, or the resurrection. No to both. That doesn't necessarily make me an atheist by the way, just not a "Bible" believer.
Glenn Morton has written a lot of articles on Hugh Ross and his view of neanderthals. All you have to do is go to "Best of the Web" Creation vs. Evolution Search Engine and scroll down to "Creation Evolution" and type in "Hugh Ross" in the search box, and search those selected websites.
Information on Pentecostal Religion
Date: 7/04/2004 12:22:22 -0400
My name is Jacob and i have a few question about the pentecostal religion because i'm searching religion in the protestant way that loves god and jesus christ and because there are no methodist church's near my house then i saw a pentecostal church and i didnt know what it was and then i search on the internet and i found your email and you looked like a person who know's about this religion because i am thinking of converting to this religion but i was asking my self is a pentecostal church like a methodist church like singing joyful songs of god and jesus christ a bit like gospel or is it like a catholic church where for me it's not as fun as a church where people sing like in a methodist churh. So is a pentecostal church like a methodist church or like a catholic hurch please answer me back before the next worshipment on sunday morning
From: "Ed Babinski"
From: Steve D.
Just wanted to send you a quick message after looking over some of your website. That message is Jesus loves you. Search your heart before attempting to lead people away from the Savior. You'll be in my prayers tonight.
From: Ed Babinski
I've never ceased searching both my heart and my head.
Proof of Life after Death?
From: "ed babinski"
ED: I'm looking too. So far only have some Near Death Experience anecdotes to go on. I agree it would be great to know for sure.
We're thrown into life not knowing anything before the day we are born. And most of our lives is kept busy just doing a job to make money to continue living and sleeping. And then there's distractions, disease, miscommunications, unrequited love, uncertainties, just waiting in line at the supermarket, not to mention the differences between the sexes (not all bad, those). I think the thing to do is live like a Zen master. One master was asked about life after death and responded that he didn't know, he hadn't died yet. Another master was asked about how to live one's life, and said, "When you're hungry, eat, when tired, sleep." But a line in the Koran always tickles my heart, "He deserves paradise who can make his companions laugh."
"Thomas C." writes:
ED: Small e-world. Thank you for "finding" me and confiding so much.
My problem is that my wife is deep into a fundamentalist, Baptist church.
ED: Since you are speaking with me and Steve, I wonder whom she is speaking with about this matter and what they are telling her? Maybe if you could find a neutral counselor of some sort that you both could speak with? But your wife might not think there is any neutral ground anymore, kind of like "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?" Or, "He who is not with me is against me?" (Though you could remind her of the other saying, also attributed to Jesus, "He who is not against me is FOR me.") My own suggestion would be to try and get her to read books on Christian Universalism. I can send you some stuff, I have evangelical friends who thanked me for having spoken to them about Christian universlaism in the end.
I was wondering if you could give me the best book that I could give my wife to read? It has to be easy to understand and follow. She is super smart but not into intellectual things like philosophy. She has agreed to read some anti-christian writings.
ED: That's just it, Christian universalism isn't "anti-Christian."
I know that her thought is that nothing will dissaude her from her truth. Maybe this won't work, but since she is willing to read, I would like to go for it.
At any rate my hope is to at least keep her questioning alive. She has pretty much stopped questioning her new found faith. She has gotten all the great answers from her Pastor and the pastor's wife. It's strange, becuse I got the same answers and they never added up for me.
ED: I have one book in print, Leaving the Fold (a third of the book contains the first-hand testimonies of former fundamentalists who became more moderate or liberal Christians), and am working on a 700 page manuscript right now, a collection of quotations on nearly every Christian topic imaginable, The Damned say the Damndest Things. It's informative and funny. Contains a good bit about Christian history too, from quotations from scholars. I don't know if your computer accepts large attachments, you would have to print it out. Some of the former fundamentalists at the exitfundyism group at yahoo groups enjoyed the portions I have shared with them immensely so. But in the end, it's your call what to share with her or not share with her.
Thank you for any help/advice you can give me.
Scott's Personal Testimony to Former Fundamentalism
I wish I’d found out about you before you wrote your book. I would have enjoyed being interviewed for it, or contributing a reminiscence. I was raised in the Evangelical Free Church in Iowa—my father helped found the town’s “E-v Free” congregation from among a group of people who had left a local Presbyterian Church after it decided to ordain a woman as an elder.
ED: Glad to meet you, Scott. Your testimony would have fit in with the moderate to liberals in the first third of the testimonies in the book. I wonder how your parents took your leaving fundamentalist dispensationalism behind? You should still write down your testimony for others to read and post it at your site as well as submitting it to any number of sites that collect the testimonies of former fundamentalists. See the listing at "leaving Christianity" (I know you haven't actually left Christianity, but that website features a long list of links to sites that do collect former fundamentalist testimonies. Also see Bishop Spong's new website.)
Myself? I went from Dispensationalist Fundamentalism to broad Evangelicalism to neo-Calvinism to Anglicanism to Anglo-Catholicism to my present faith, which I define as…Jeffersonian.
I’m working on a website—mostly political—but it will have a favorite links page. I’ll add yours to it, for sure.
ED: Thanks for linking up!
Are you a member of the National Center for Science Education? If not, you should join.
ED: I was a member of NCSE, but they don't produce quite as many articles that directly reply to creationists like they used to. They used to produce a journal filled with such articles. Later, they combined their newsletter and journal into NCSE Reports, and it's a bit too newsy for me, though I do visit their site and read essential articles and reviews that they post there. They were also kind enough to advertise my first self-published zine from the mid 1980s, Theistic Evolutionists' Forum.
Lesbian Speaks About Freedom from Organized Religion
Having experienced life from the other side of the tracks for as long as I can remember, ( I'm a lesbian ) I can wholeheartedly immerse myself in the notion that organized religion has done far more harm than good. What is it about ourselves that we doubt so much; that brings us to grasp so desperately at any solution that casts aside self reliance and an innate sense that we know what is best for us. Thank you for writing this book. We haven't ever met but, I suspect that your'e far happier now than you ever thought you were entitled to be. I believe perhaps, I may have stumbled upon the essence of the problem, food for thought?.
From: Ed Babinski
Thanks very much for your email, "Shadow," I agree with what you have written below concerning how people tend to grasp at dogmatic one-size-fits-all answers from outside themselves rather than looking honestly within themselves and learning to rely on their own better judgment built up via a lifetime of learning and personal experience, and how they want to make things easiest by relying on a single ("holy") book or a single "church" instead of seeking out the best in every person and every book, etc.
As for the question of "happiness," that is a relative matter. I'm sure some believers in dogmatic religions or even some people raised in primitive nature-religions are happier than those of us who don't follow either course. But then, what does it matter? After all, some drunks appear to be happier than some sober people, and some people who idolize any number of things either profane or religious, seem happier for their obsessions, be they Trekkies or Rennaisance Fair performers. *smile* Happiness is not the judge of all truth. But yes, as the testimonies in my book show, many folks who left fundamentalism felt more alive after doing so, their sense of curiosity and learning widened. But also, with that new found joy may also come some resentment, once you realize how many years you spent in the fold, taking other people's word for things that you are now certain they had far less knowledge of than you formerly supposed they did. *smile* But the pendulum usually swings back away from resentment once that person discovers their own reasons to live, their own new friends, new interests, etc., until an equilibrium is eventually reached.
Absolutes in Christianity/Atheism vs. Agnosticism and Deism
A Christian Wrote: " .. Atheists ask why we dont worship Budha, or the hindu God, and do we know that our God is just another God like amen Ra and Mithra. ... "
Question for atheists -- (I am a Deist, I wouldn't know).
1) "Atheists ask why Christians don't worship Buddha, or the Hindu God"... It's very apparent that Atheists don't worship God... because they've never seen him, but Atheists do know of a man named Buddha who lived --- so, since it was a real, living man -- can atheists worship say -- Buddha ? Or, is non-worship universal for Atheists?
2) Next question for atheists -- are your beliefs as biased as Christians? -- the thought occurred to me, Atheists and Theists, are the only two groups of people who hold 'absolute' beliefs (either, "God is and if you don't believe, I pray God breaks your kneecaps and forces you to repent to me" or, atheists who would say "There is NO God you FOOL.")
Agnostics and Deists are somewhere down the middle of the two extremes.
Date: 5/24/2004 10:55:28 -0400
In response to your email.
Hard-line conservative Christians love atheists. Those types of Christians are always congratulating atheists for being so "honest" in seeing that there are only two options, God or no God. Of course the Christian assumes that if there is a god it's undoubtedly his. Such Christians imagine there is no god, nor any true dogmas about god, except theirs. That's what makes them fanatics. While there are atheists who understand theistic arguments and want there to be a god and afterlife, but they are not convinced by such arguments.
Personally, I think each side knows less than they suppose. We all do.
I personally believe and hope for love and life everlasting. I think that's a basic hope that drives us all, and makes life happier. But I am not so optimistic about my personal hope to fervently deny the possibility of man's extinction. I recognize that things do not always turn out as planned (just take the zillions of Christians who have falsely predicted Christ's return over the centuries, beginning with the N.T. writers -- or consider the many ways life on this planet could cease to exist in this wide open cosmos).
I am a Believer... and I love your Site!
R. Bundy writes:
You might be right (I don't think so) but what if you are wrong.
Eternity in hell isn't worth it. I am 67 years of age. I accepted Jesus Christ in my youth. I haven't always lived as I know Jesus would have but today I know my sins are covered by his blood that he shed for me.
ED: What do you think I am right or wrong about? All I'm doing is asking questions that seem obvious to me. Neither would I care to take away anyone's faith, least of all someone who has believed that same things since their youth. I don't expect people to change, I only hold out the obvious questions I myself faced when I left the fold, for people who care to read them.
Thanks for your site!!
We went to a "Pentecostal-type" church Sunday. We had been trying to help a friend get his "ministry" started. I figured it was non-denominational so probably pretty liberal (wrong!!). His wife went into this strange "trance" and began mumbling "mmmababa zop bam boom" or whatever and went around basically telling "fortunes." It was the freakiest show I have ever seen in my life. The fact that people believe in this garbage ( along with the corresponding fundamentalist beliefs) is beyond me. My husband and I had some great giggles over it, though. He keeps asking me to cast out his demons when he has a headache.
The funny part is that I had been reading Garrison Keillor Saturday night and had just read the part about Uncle Louie speaking in tongues.
Anyway, thanks for your website and I plan on reading your book soon.
Thanks for the "tongue's up," Carey!
Edward T. Babinski
Date: 7/7/2004 13:20:46 +0100
You don't know me, but I visited your site today in my course to find a googlewhack.
I thought you might like to know your site
contains a googlewhack in the form of "ferrets harmonistic".
I thought this might brighten up your day!
From: "ed babinski"
Thanks for sharing, Chris,
Whale Evolution Question Answered
From: Ed Babinski
Ed Babinski here. Your questions, below, appear to relate to the fact that some modern day cetaceans continue to be born with rudimentary hind limbs; and so you are wondering whether modern day whales are going to return to the land anytime soon. No, I don't think so. Rather, such "hind limb rudiments" appear to provide corresponding evidence along with the fossil record that the ancestors of cetaceans were land dwellers with legs. Hence, modern day cetaceans still sprout rear limb buds in the womb, and some still retain hind limb rudiments even as adults.
Best, Ed Babinski