I just got the following bizarre/amusing comment from someone calling himself OJ Simpson on the first post I ever made on this blog (where I told the story of my deconversion). I figured it needed to be both dissected and shared.
There’s a trend I’ve noticed, and I’m surely not the first: So often when a preacher makes some great declaration about the future, he seems to be in it for the money. Oh, he’ll put on a good show of being earnest, declaring that God has spoken to him and given him a message that the big guy needs to get across to his True Believers.
Two recent examples come to mind.
I’ve managed to dig up an almost four-year-old discussion on a web forum where I argued (with cringeworthy levels of smarm and fake logic) for the existence of God (of the generic Deistic variety) against a few atheists.
Worthy of note is the fact that I was a college senior and most of the people I was talking to were high school students or younger college students, and yet they tend to come off sounding more rational than I do.
The Schenectady Daily Gazette occasionally has a column by Carl Strock called “The View From Here.” It’s often inflammatory and a bit mixed-up on the various flavors of Christianity, but his column from today was pretty interesting. If you’re a Gazette subscriber, you can read it here, but everybody else who doesn’t want to shell out a few bucks to read it is out of luck. Fortunately, I have a physical copy of the Gazette on hand, so I’ll quote rather liberally from it…
Just recorded myself with a few thoughts on religious indoctrination, and the persistent effects it can have on you later in life.
[time to play theist’s advocate, briefly.]
Boy, those atheists sure are angry. They’re always mocking religious people, degrading their deeply-held beliefs and sniping at them with pompous, elitist remarks.
Who are they to tell us what to believe? Our beliefs give our lives hope and meaning. They help guide us to behave in the ways we should behave and stand up for what’s right.
Not to mention how many smart people there are who believe what we do, and how many contributions have been made to the arts, culture, and society by the teachings of our various faiths. Where would we be without religion?
When I was a kid I used to be obsessed with the idea of psychic phenomena – ESP, psychokinesis, astral projection, et cetera. I even did a “research project” in elementary school on the subject of paranormal investigations. I was an entirely credulous person; if something had even the slightest shred of ‘evidence’ to it, I was likely to dive into it head first, assuming it was true until I was proven wrong (which I never was, of course, since I basically only looked into the ‘evidence’ provided by believers).