It's been about two-and-a-half-years since I wrote you last. Where does the time go? I'm not expecting you to remember me, but I just want to say that you helped me through a difficult time in reawakening my atheism. Man, was I one rabid, newly out-of-the-closet atheist! Time and life events sure do mellow things though. I got married, I lost my career (I was a naïve bystander of the tech bubble), and I just got older.
When I first began reading your site, there was one point on your view of atheism that I just couldn't fathom (and I'm paraphrasing here): I seldom think about the fact that I'm an atheist unless I'm trying to distinguish myself from theists. Well, I get it now. In dealing with those other life events, I began visiting Positive Atheism less and less. Your site was extremely helpful in helping me establish my own personal philosophy. After a while, I guess I just didn't need that much reinforcement. I wasn't thinking about my atheism any more. I didn't have to! Life just went on.
Occasionally, when I'd read some scientific book or article, the thought would come through my head: "Just another explanation for something attributed to religion or superstition." I wasn't constantly looking for a philosophical fight with any religious takers any more. I just was an atheist. I just am (an atheist). I just am.
I checked back in with Positive Atheism, just to see how things are going. It has been a long time. I cook a lot (my wife isn't allowed in the kitchen; oh, the frightening possibilities) so my best analogy is that the knife had to meet the steel again, just to maintain sharpness. It wasn't because of nostalgia that I visited again. Your site is an invaluable tool. Logic, teamed with unbending relentlessness in your activism, is inspiring.
I've gotten fired up a few times during the period since I last wrote. The unbelievable pseudo-theocracy of "W," the runaway success of The Da Vinci Code, and so much of this rampant, blind "If-
I wish I could help out, it will be another couple of years until I get through school (a new career in the medical field), so, I guess food is the priority right now for me. It's good to see that you are getting help with the site so it will hopefully live on in perpetuity.
Mark A. Silgalis
Thanks for writing!
It's good to see you so freely question the ideas of a so-called expert and then, thinking for yourself, come to your own conclusions. This is why I inwardly rejoice (yes I can use that word) whenever a fellow atheist strongly disagrees with my approach -- despite the posturing that exudes in defending what I still think, after much consideration, is the best way.
But I will admit that I'm jazzed on hearing that one of my more "out-there" propositions (now) makes sense to at least two people (me and thee)! Ah, but to see that position expressed with such fresh lucidity: thanks for that, most of all!
Oh, you rattled off this very common attitude:
His wife's appearance on Larry King a few Christmas seasons ago has a lot to do with this, to be sure. (Well, even lip service is better than a kick in the head, eh?) I like to wonder how much needling he's fielded from various elements amongst the World's activistic atheists. However, I suspect that the needling Laura got from the long-
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