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George…

<<“While I embrace you I tap my fingertips on your shoulder and whisper these words: “Everyone makes mistakes. I once made a mistake.”>>

So did I very nearly, but thankfully my path toward atheism was only temporarily snagged, and not totally derailed.

Yes, okay, your opinion about atheism being a religion, about religion not requiring a deity.

Religion does require somethings however, and atheism doesn’t have any of them. No rules, no priests, no ritual, no objects of worship, no rites of passage, no demands of complience, no places of worship, no acts of contrition, no afterlife, no communion with the supernatural. Atheists only agree on one thing and that is that they do not believe in any deity.

Political leanings do not make religions. And human deities?

What the heck? Did you know, George, that I am not a liberal?

But, I don’t deify George Bush, either.

<<Now we get to the part that escaped you, the part about avoiding hypocrisy. If either you or I have an opinion, or a belief, or a non-belief, and I take a stand on it and speak or write on it, and others disagree, me or us are placed under a lens of criticism that aspires to expose hypocrisy. They will find an opportunity and manipulate it if they must to accuse — hypocrisy. The only way we can avoid it is to never take a stand, never have an opinion. It might be truth and justified but truth doesn’t matter. It’s the nature of the accusation.>>

Exposing hypocrisy should not need MMM. Hypocrisy stands just as it is, and should be apparent to anyone with the pertinant facts.

No, the only way to avoid hypocrisy is to take a stand based on the best available facts and/or to say you don’t know if the facts do not present an obvious stand on an issue. Opinion is not necessarily based upon truth, and as such is fully open to accustation or to a demand that facts of truth be presented that led to the opinion.

<<My point: Are you willing to forsake all your opinions to avoid the accusation of hypocrisy? I’m not.>>

If someone shows through factual truths that my opinion is wrongfully held, I would only be a hypocrite if I continued to hold that opinion and to claim that only my opinion is truth. I would be an intellectual hypocrite. Hypocrisy takes many forms, and if I talk the talk of honor, but not walk the walk, then I am also a hypocrite.

I try very hard to walk an honorable path.

<<The way I see it Jeanne is that you are an Athiest (that’s the religion part) because you saw hypocrisy and God didn’t deliver. You are an Adeist because you don’t believe in supernatural events and things and God would necessarily be a supernatural thing. But that does not eliminate you from one day choosing to accept a human deity. Every now and then I read in your the potential that you could do that. >>

What …I have no idea what you are talking about here, George.

As an atheist, I do not think anything outside the natural realm exists. God is outside the natural realm. A human deity…no what you are probably thinking is about my stating that human beings are (so far) the highest form of sentient life, that we hold our destiny in our own hands, that time is long and much can happen, and who knows where humanity is going in the universe.

That does not make humanity my deity. Nor would any human be deified by me. That would be bizarre.

<<But when it comes to the design and starting up all of creation, using evolution and all, that was a supernatural event that defined what after that would and would not be supernatural>>

No that was a natural event. We and everything in the universe are made up of the very same natural materials found in atoms.

Supernatural stuff is not made up of the same material as natural stuff…no atoms. That is unless you have some supernatural stuff so we could test it….no?..too bad.

<<I was an angel once. At least that’s what someone said I was.>>

I have often been called an angel for my loving deeds or words, but I always tell them I am just a good atheist.

<<Is it possible that Angels don’t necessarily need to be supernatural? I wonder still if God had a hand in it.>>

Human angels are just good people doing good things for other people…they are the best of humanity, and if you are an angel, George, then good for you. Devils are human too, fortunately death eliminates them.

<<Yeah, I believe in miracles. I’ve experienced several of them. For me at least, God delivered. But I never expected Him to.>>

I believe in miracles, just not supernatural ones.

I never expected God to deliver, but I realized that if he was “delivering” to my fellow christians, that either I was unacceptable to God, or God did not really exist. I knew I was a better person than they, so if God loved me then he should have “delivered” to me through a communion, but God did not, although my fellow christians communed with God and revealed such events. I could only assume that they were either delusional or deliberately lying about such communion or “delivering” done with or by God.

Since I still knew my honor, and the lack of theirs, I decided that there was, in fact, no God at all.

How else should I have decided? Still no word from said deity, no annecdotal evidence or any other type of evidence to persuade me that God exists. Everything I wonder about I can find the truth of, and that truth which is unavailable currently is not of much concern to me. No doubt the truth is out there waiting for humanity to discover it, but I think by the time humanity is able to do so there will be no need to assign such truth to the human concept of a deity/creator.

Jeanne

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