REPLY #76 TO
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his 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 almost agree completely with you, except for one thing. You cannot possibly have an "unbiased and objective viewpoint" concerning religion unless you were born, brought yourself up in a cave alone, and then revealed yourself to the world as an adult. All of us have religious influences no matter how small the difference it has made in us. You have made a concious decision not to believe in a deity, but you were most likely influenced as a youth. Your decisions as an adult have led you down this path, not your ability to be "unbiased and objective."
(MB) I've already answered this a few times in the past, but I'll go one more time. The reason that I can be unbiased and objective concerning religion is because I have no presuppositions or cherished beliefs to protect. I grew up in a religious (Lutheran) home and studied actively in my youth. However, the results of my studies was a clear understanding that nothing I was studying was making much sense. Nobody else in my family is a non-believer, so there were no pressures or influences to reject belief in God.
As I have grown and matured, my continued studies on all topics have shown that sticking to facts and evidence is the only way to reach a sound conclusion. There's nothing that I "won't" believe, but there are many things that I "can't" believe since they are in such opposition to the available facts and evidence. The notion of a supernatural "God" is just one of them.