Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) I can honestly say that I feel bad for people who live lives that are devoid of any faith.
(MB) Why would you say that? Can't somebody have a good life without basing it upon superstition? Why would it be better to make all of life's choices based upon some dubious stories of unknown origination penned many thousands of years ago than to base those choices upon the entire gamut of human knowledge?

(R) I don't care what the arguments for or against evolution are, I believe in my God and my Jesus, and I am sorry that you don't.
(MB) There is nothing about evolution that demands the non-existence of God or any other deity. Most religious leaders (including the Pope) are comfortable with the principles of evolution and see them as a greater understanding of God's work. Do you have some reason to see otherwise?

(R) My belief is not about religion only, it is about a lifestyle, choice and a relationship.
(MB) Fine. You are free to live your life as you see fit so long as you cause no harm in the process.

(R) I believe that my God created and cares for me, and you.
(MB) Again, fine. You can believe whatever makes you happy. It's only when those beliefs are touted as being "better" or "more correct" than what we have learned from science that they leave themselves open to criticism.

(R) If you plan to make arguments and assumptions about religion, and if you intend to make "religious people" upset at you, your article is a good way to do so.
(MB) My essay is a good way to address the failings of religious beliefs and to ask for those who espouse such beliefs to support them and to show me to be wrong. If that makes them upset, so be it. Perhaps that will inspire them to engage in debate in search of where the truth actually resides.

(R) It is interesting that you are so adamant against religion, and say that our ideas are "silly" but you aren't very open minded yourself.
(MB) One standard mantra of religious advocates is to label disbelievers as not being "open-minded". At best, this demonstrates a rather disappointing misunderstanding of what the term "open-minded" means. If you have actively studied all sides of any given issue and are prepared to accept any conclusion based upon all applicable facts (even if that conclusion might be completely different from one's initial beliefs) you are "open-minded". If, however, one is predisposed to accept only one possible answer and will refuse to change his mind despite any and all evidence to the contrary, then he is not "open-minded". I am open-minded on all things since I subject all ideas to the same standards of evidence. Will you do the same for your beliefs?

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