Wanna Debate Bob Enyart?
Richard C. Church

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
To: "Richard C. Church"
Subject: Re: WebMaster: Positive Atheism Index
Date: Monday, May 07, 2001

I do not speak very well, but am skilled only at writing -- and only because I can work at it at my own pace. This is how my brain works. I can sing because the words are always the same every time. It takes me about three times as long to get any job done as it would a healthy person with the same skill level. If my body will let me sit in this chair for twelve hours, I can get about four hours of work done.

I also cannot throw a baseball very far. That is how my arm works. Sorry. I hope nobody offers to determine who is telling the truth by how many milk bottles we knock down at the carnival -- I'd definitely come out of that one looking like a monumental liar. That's what I think about determining truth based upon who is the most skilled at speaking. Being impaired in both skills, I can probably see this a little easier than most can.

Also, I am not skilled at the art of staged debate, nor would I want to be. To me, staged debate involves trying to introduce more confusion into a discussion than one's opponent can introduce within a pre-set amount of time. Somebody who is practiced at the art of staged debate and who takes the position that the Earth is flat could run circles around even Stephen Hawking taking the position that the Earth is a globe. How forcefully or gracefully one enunciates one's position is not a test of the truthfulness of that position. Staged debates are more about self-promotion than they are about discovering truth or even giving air to the issues.

Besides, I have nothing to say to theists other than, "Practice your religion in private and leave us the fook¹ alone about it! I am an atheist. Get over it. Okay?"

My main goal as an activist is to stop the indignity heaped upon myself and those like me by theists who think they're so superior for being theists. If Bob Enyart can explain to me why atheists are so widely and viciously despised in America -- what exactly we, as a class, have done to earn the hardships that we endure each day -- I'd be interested in hearing his responses. Also, if he has any ideas as to what steps we atheists might take to reduce the stigma and the bigotry that is systematically leveled against this class of people, I'd love to hear his ideas. This, to me, would be a most productive use of our time.

But staged debate is not my style. Life is not a contest, it's our only crack at existing -- ever! If you think gods exist, good for you! I've heard all the sales pitches and none of them sway me in the least.

If someone wishes to write to our Forum, I'd be glad to address specific questions and take challenges, but I have zero respect for the staged debate game. Always have; probably always will.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

   1. Altered from English to Irish slang on September 30, 2007.

Graphic Rule

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