To : Tom Breuer Subj: athiest or not? On 06-02-94 22:22 Tom Breuer commented on athiest

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From: Lois Frankel 11 Jun 94 07:33 To : Tom Breuer Subj: athiest or not? On 06-02-94 22:22 Tom Breuer commented on athiest or not?, to which I exclaim: TB> did with the way I truly believed. The more stridently TB> athiests and agnostics deny the existence of God, or the TB> truth of religious claims, the more they betray religion's TB> deep hold on them. You're assuming that such atheists were once religious. I am not now, nor have I ever been, religious (nor did any family members attempt to thrust religion upon me, since my parents are also atheists), yet I have often "stridently" objected to religious claims--primarily for three reasons: 1. As a person devoted to rationality, and educated in the methods of reasoning (Ph.D. Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley), I am offended, on a purely intellectual plane, by such absurdities as religion. 2. Religious thought (at least of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic varfiey that pervades Western society) provokes immorality in a number of ways: by encouraging blind obedience to authority, by subordinating reason to faith, by enforcing patriarchal "morality" that makes some people masters and others slaves, and by "inspiring" persecution of those who do not follow the party line of "religious correctness." 3. In the United States, certain religious groups attempt to enforce their viewpoint on the rest of us, to subvert the separation of church and state. Yes, if people would keep their religious beliefs to themselves, they would be (relatively) harmless. But since those beliefs usually involve certain objectional forms of behavior towards other people, I don't think we can afford to just shrug it off.

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