I’ve browsed through your site and read that ‘favourite letter’ of yours and I am sort of torn, if you like, in several different directions. Firstly, given the nature of this site, my identification should be Catholic Christian and I do take significant comfort in my beliefs. I am very strong in my faith and very interested in talking to others about it and differing perspectives on issues. However, whenever I hear stories about fundamentalist Christians and read about all the condemnations and horrible discrimination of some groups, including my own, I have like a revulsion from it and turn quasi-atheist for a while.
Then I have other days where I read stories or blog accounts of what I like to call ‘militant atheists’ who make it their business to charge around attacking and insulting (usually hypocritically) Christians and other people just because of their beliefs, and I turn super-Christian.
I take great personal comfort from believing in a Creator, but I don’t believe in Creationism. I love the idea that we follow Jesus’ teachings, but exclude certain groups and judge people. As you can see I’m a fondue of faith.
I think its possible to believe in both Christianity and in Evolution or science. I cringe when the evidence used to ‘prove’ the existence of God is taken from the Bible! Thats a terrible practice – its obviously going to affirm it and the purpose of the book is to teach about Him… I personally believe that God fits in in the middle section – where the Big Bang theory leaves off and Evolution begins – God created life as its fairly well accepted that life cannot spring from inorganic matter. And I also believe that God created the matter prior to the Big Bang.
My point that I’m making is that all Christian sites I visit have a tendency to bible-bash and hate evolution and call for the death of atheists (which is a terrible thing – asking people to die for their beliefs) and have an IQ level of 3.458. The atheist sites, as a rule, tend to be smarmy and self-important and often ask for rational debate and then trap the acceptor into saying something stupid and then stereotype Christians based on that example.
Everyone questions their beliefs. As an atheist, do you question your belief in nothing? And do you always agree with other atheists over these things or is there division amongst atheistkind too?
I’d say that when it comes to religion fundamentalist, dogmatic, or radical anything — be it religion or atheism — is a mistake. Your beliefs sound quite reasonable (and in keeping with modern Catholicism), and I think you should resist being swayed by the blatherings and rantings of people for or against religion. Not all atheists are militant, and not all Christians condemn. Look for the reasonable individuals and ignore the rest while you examine your own beliefs.
I disagree with you when you say that everyone questions their own beliefs — but I agree that everyone should. To answer your question, not all atheists agree about everything. I, for example, see no compelling reason to believe that deities exist, but I won’t say absolutely that there are no deities (since I can’t prove such a statement). I also disagree with atheists who see all religion as an evil that should be stamped out ASAP.
(As an aside, when you say, “its fairly well accepted that life cannot spring from inorganic matter,” do you mean “non-living matter” or do you really mean “inorganic matter”? If the former, I think you’re wrong; if the latter, then I don’t think your conclusion follows.)