Title: Re: [FairfieldLife] Re: Newsweek on Dawkins and Harris
on 9/3/06 10:23 PM, curtisdeltablues at [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

> Thanks for posting this, I would have missed it.  I am so happy that
> this perspective is in the mainstream media and on a group like this.
>  It speaks well for the open mindedness of both.  I think at the end
> of the article they misjudged the number of people who have dropped
> the belief in any of the recently popular God ideas on earth.  I am
> not a member of the American Atheists which they use as the low number
> of people who think this way.  I can say that being an outspoken,
> positive atheist makes me a safe person for some people to express
> their spiritual doubts to.  I have so often been pulled aside when I
> have expressed my lack of belief by someone who feels bullied by
> believers to tow the party line.  I know that faith and mystical
> experience is cherished by many here on this group.  I greatly
> appreciate that my lack of valuing these experiences and beliefs is
> accepted by most of the people I communicate with here.  We all have
> our own reasons for including and excluding beliefs.  Nobody believes
> everything.  We are all on that same human mission to discover the
> meaning for our own lives.  That is a much greater commonality than
> whatever specifics each of us has come up with so far.  I consider
> myself and everyone here a work in progress.  I enjoy hearing about
> and sharing what we are noticing along the way.  This post made me
> feel really glad I check in here, thanks. Kumbaya baby.  Thanks purushaz.
>

I wish I had time to get into a serious discussion with you about this. Maybe some time in person. But here’s my take in a nutshell. Essentially, these guys are objecting to the fanaticism that results from belief unsupported by experience. I very much believe in God, but I think belief without substantiating experience usually does more harm than good. It’s still rare as a percentage of the world’s population, but many have attained that level of experience, including some friends of mine. These people exist at the opposite end of the spectrum from religious fanatics, have a wonderful influence on the world around them, and would charm the socks off Dawkins and Harris. If guys like that (and yourself as well) could spend enough face time with the kind of people I’m talking about, they would probably end up rethinking their perspective.
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