Tuesday, February 14, 2006

From Antievolution.com

A man named Mr Christopher posted this at Antievolution
Although I was never a fundamentalist I was once a believer as well and Robert Ingersoll's writings did more to expedite my atheism than any other person or ideology. Ingersoll was my first glimpse into knowing there were in fact others who thought (and doubted) like myself.
Evolution had absolutely NOTHING to do with my decision to drop kick my faith. The creationists should be trying to ban Ingersoll and leave evolution alone :-)
For those unfamiliar -

Robert Ingersoll complete works
Robert Ingersoll Wiki Pages
And I'll leave you with this Ingersoll quote:
"The man who invented the telescope found out more about heaven than the closed eyes of prayer ever discovered. "

I was fascinated with the reading and it got me to thinking, How many authors have really influenced my thoughts on religion. Granted, I never was a believer, coming from liberal academic parents who, like all good liberals, politely declined religious services, but I was interested since I was born with the God Gene and since we lived waaaaay out in the forested mountains in the North Cascades part of Washington State where god is all around.

William Blake gave me my first images to manipulate the concept of religion with The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Wierd for a kid to read this but my dad was a history professor so that's the kind of stuff we had lying around. Next came Mark Twain's "Letters From the Earth". My all time favorite is the rant from philip wylie called "The Magic Animal".

I love Ken Wilbur's idea that spirit is what we are evolving toward and the 9 insights from the Celestine prophecy were especially illuminating for me when I read them.

Any way, after providing all these links (I have read both bibles, the book of mormon, the bhagavad gita and etc but they are alittle too political for me :), I wonder, what authors have affected your religious thought?


Artist in Training said...

Have you tried "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis?

BWE said...

No. I keep meaning to. I will put that on my to read list though. Have I beat you up over at PT too much? No offense intended probably. I couldn't find the thread you posted in. You sure you don't remember your user name?

Artist in Training said...

No, Pandas Thumb is fine with me. I think you sometimes go a little overboard with your comments over there and this blog is insulting to some christians. I see your attempt at humor as disingenuous and your actual points as trivial mostly.

I notice no one from PT, even the "atheists" comment on your blog. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe because it's irrelevant and distasteful? That would be my guess.

I looked at the issue of ID because, design seems utterly obvious to me and I assumed that was the point of it all. After reading both sides, it becomes glaringly obvious that those IDists, at least at Uncommon Descent and the Discovery Institute are using deception and falsehoods to try to push a political agenda. That doesn't mean that design isn't obvious, just that it is too much a fabric of the universe to unravel with the scientific method. Spirituality is a subtle thing. You claim to be deeply spiritual yet you mock others who also make that claim. Are you trying to push "your" brand of spirituality? I wonder what that would be and whether it could offer any hope to humanity.


John said...

C.S. Lewis was first. My mother should have known better to insist that an 11-year old read The Screwtape Letters.

Later, I have to say Bertrand Russell and Mark Twain. And Heinlein (never forget Heinlein)

BWE said...

Good god, how could I forget Heinlein? You are, I assume, referring to "Stranger in a strange Land"? I surely got more understanding of god from that book than from most others. But I wasn't really going for fiction. If fiction is allowed here then "Another Roadside Attraction" by Tom Robbins is up at the top of the list too. Also "Catch-22" but for different reasons.

Tice with a J said...

The Screwtape Letters was a fine read. I read it when I was 11, and have read it many times after. It's strengthened my faith in God considerably.

Dan said...

Hey, THIS atheist from Panda's Thumb is checking out your Blog.
Stranger in a strange land gives a good sense of the hopelessness of teaching the wilfully ignorant the simple and glaring truths of life.
Atheism comes to me by way of scratching my head over the simple question:
If God wants us to know that he (She/It) exists, then why leave it such a mystery. Why not just stamp the ten commandments onto the face of the moon where we could all see them every night and never argue about them (They are COMMANDMENTS, after all).
If I were God, I would be saying to the Jews;
"You LOST them? whaddayamean you LOST them!?"

Dizzy said...

Elie Wiesel (author of "Night") was a major one.

Confucius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Mencius, Han Fei Zi, and all the other ancient through 1800s Chinese philosophers I studied in college who influenced a civilization that a) was the dominant power on Earth for close to 2000 years, and b) had never considered even the concept of monotheism.

Of course, nothing has quite as much influence as dozens of relatives and their friends spending hours at a time trying shove their distorted brand of Christianity down your throat when you're young.

BWE said...

It is amazing what just a little understanding of eastern philosophy can do to a western worldview isn't it? If you have never read Zen Art for Meditation by Horioko Holmes you should go right out and buy it.

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