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Posted by Aurino Souza on August 3, 2001 14:44:44 UTC

Mario,

There are two bits of information I owe you:

When I made the bad joke about atheists not shooting themselves in the head, I actually meant pessimistic atheists. A pessimistic theist might not see a point to this life but at least he's waiting for the next, while a pessimistic atheist is just waiting to die. In any case my point was that pessimism is logically inconsistent with the fact that the person is still alive, atheism was just a lousy choice of word. There was this philosopher (Schopenhauer?) who advocated death as the best solution to the problems of life, yet he never followed his advice himself. You get the idea.

On another point:

Do I believe in God? I believe in two things. I believe that an ultimate answer to our questions doesn't exist, that even if math explains everything you still have to explain math, and explain the thing that explains math, and so on and on ad infinitum. In essence, existence is an eternal mystery. I also believe in goodness, I believe we should nurture love, respect, kindness, beauty, joy, hope, and that we should discourage people from seeking hatred, disrespect, rudeness, uglyness, sadness, despair, but always respecting them for what they are. It's kind of tricky, I know, but it can be done.

So I believe in Mystery and I believe in Goodness. I call those things God for want of a better word, that's all. Now if I were Harv I would set myself to convince you that you also believe in God, but if we ignore the labeling issue then there's nothing left to discuss. Right?

Have fun

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