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Posted by Paul R. Martin on May 19, 2002 03:15:16 UTC

Hi Everyone,

Participating in this forum has been wonderful fun for me. It has given me the opportunity of trying to express my view of the world. In my attempts to do so, I am sure I didn't change anyone's mind, nor did I teach anyone anything. For the most part, neither did the dialogs change my mind or teach me much. Aside from having fun, I did benefit from the writing exercise itself, though, and I feel that I can now express my beliefs and opinions a little better than I could before.

Recently, though, there has been a change. After pondering two wonderful posts from Mike Pearson, I have changed my mind significantly, and I now feel that I have a little more accurate picture of what is going on. Mike's posts can be found at

I have long maintained that organized religion is the worst evil that has ever visited earth. Even though Harv refuted my position by pointing to the atheistic counterexamples of Pol Pot and Stalin, his argument was not convincing to me. Mike's argument was convincing, and I have changed my mind.

Maybe Mike just put the punctuation on a long dialog that has been working away on my subconscious, but I found his short challenge, "If you can write a better story, do!", to be very compelling. Of course I can't write a better story. I don't think George Lucas, or Charles Darwin, or anyone else, has done any better either.

Mike got me to wondering: Why do we need a story anyway? Why do we need some mythical fairy tale to cling to? It occurred to me that Aurino has been telling us the answer all along, and that is that the true facts about reality can't even be articulated, much less told, much much less understood. So, if we just relaxed and enjoyed the universe we find ourselves in, we could be as blissfully happy as all the other animals, who seem to do just that.

But, as another of Mike's powerful short lines says, "We humans are very early on our potential evolutionary ladder." We have only recently departed ways from all other animals by our marveling at our universe, and our starting to wonder about the answers to imponderable questions. It is for this that we need stories.

Mike's second post sketches out some of the major milestones we have reached in our short journey so far along this road. We should acknowledge the wonderful accomplishments of Science for providing us with refrigeration, anaesthesia, mobility, communication, energy, food, and on and on and on. But, as I have been slow to acknowledge, we also need to recognize the seemingly slower, but maybe more difficult progress along the road to justice and brotherhood. The state of the world at this moment clearly shows how much more of this road lies ahead of us.

After thinking about Mike's second post, I have begun to see that the story of Christianity has helped us move along this road, establishing the institutions Mike mentions, and providing a good that outweighs the, maybe more obvious, evil that has been done in the name of religion. My particular thanks to Mike for presenting this in a way that I finally could see.

If I don't talk to you again, let me say thanks, again to all of you. It has been fun.

Warm regards,


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