Oh, I don't even know where to begin this letter.
I just became aware of Positive Atheism within the past two weeks, and already it has become priceless to me. It is a wonderful tool for knowledge, reference, and simple entertainment. Certain questions that have been floating through my head ever since the day I was taught of the existence of "God" have been answered in a sentence. On-going discussions and debates have been silenced in several minutes. I am so appreciative of what you have offered here.
I have several questions, though, and see myself emailing you many times in the future as more questions arise.
Where do you find your factual information? I am sure that there are many sources, but if you could even name a few it would help me greatly. For instance, in the letters section you posted the fact that scientists had completely documented the DNA structure of a multi-celled organism. How do you ever come upon information like that?
Can you suggest periodicals published regularly on the subject of atheism? Not only would I enjoy a subscription for myself, but I work at a public library, and I am shocked by the lack of atheist publications. I already have suggested that the library purchase several books on the subject, but I'm having some trouble chasing down periodicals.
Finally, out of curiosity, what is your professional occupation, and do you ever find that your religious beliefs (or lack, thereof) create conflicts of opinion within the workplace (or even socially)? I only ask because sometimes I find that my beliefs do cause conflict in my daily life. A very, very simple example is the public sneeze. I do have a strong sense of morals, ethics, and social rules that I try hard to abide by. I had always been taught, as a child, to "bless" somebody when they sneeze. When in a silent room with another person, I feel that a sneeze requires a reply. I know this sounds trivial and childish, and it may be, but it is the first, and simplest example that popped into my head.
Again, thank you for Positive Atheism. It is on the top of my bookmark list.
"But anyone who says, 'You fools!' will be in the danger
of the fire of hell." - Jesus, Matthew 5:25 NIV
"You blind fools!" - Jesus, Matthew 23:17 NIV
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Friday, June 16, 2000 10:43 AM
I apologize that I am just getting around to answering your letter.
My source for the DNA article was Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird" column, and you would have to contact him for the source article. It made "NotW" because the scientist made a remark that humans are not much different from worms (the animal whose DNA was mapped). I'm sure it has been covered in the major scientific journals.
For a list of periodicals, check out the Publications section of our Web Guide and see what's out there. There are many good ones, but it depends on which angle you wish to explore. I personally don't receive any of them.
I get it all the time for being an atheist, and always have. I've even lost otherwise loving relationships over it.
I just ignored the sneeze remark for a long time. Lately, when someone says, "God bless you," I have begun mimicking or mocking their tone of voice to say "No thank you!" I am not any more comfortable doing this than I am ignoring the remark, but ignoring it does less damage, so I think I'll try to break this habit. Maybe.
The sneeze remark is an intrusion that has bothered me since I was a kid, and still bugs me today, because my body functions are my own business and are nothing that I have any control over. Would you point out to someone that their knee just made a popping sound? or to an incontinent person that they had just peed their pants? That our cultural habit of drawing attention to a sneeze is a religious invocation serves only to rub it in further if you are an atheist.
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
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