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May 21, 2011

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fundie chick

"That is to say, it’s not unheard of for suicidal atheists to conclude that there is no reason to go on and end it all; the Christians in question conclude that it’s all going to end, so there is no reason to go on."

As a former fundamentalist, in my childhood and middle teen years, this is a topic that always pricks my interest. I was once even acquainted with a married 20 something Christian who asserted that he and his wife had decided not to have children because it was obvious the End Times were nigh since the world was such a horrible place (this was in relatively innocent and sane 1983,btw).

In my adulthood I've come to believe that such nihilistic attitudes are a sign of depression. I am disappointed that many an enlightened liberal type who would otherwise know better find it impossible to be kind when they are dealing with Christians. People who latch on to the crystal ball that apocalyptic world views can be: a) are exhibiting signs of depression (obviously something other than Christianity has these people lacking the will to go on) and b) are often demonstrating that they are lower class/working class folks who, while literate, have not received the kind of education that would give them a more balanced perspective.

I'm surprised you didn't refer to Stephen Hawkings recent repetition of his assertion that there is no such thing as a distinct hole of endless happiness, goodness and light that some might refer to as Heaven. Another topic of great interest that I wish I would motivate myself to pursue is the comedy of misunderstandings among the academic/intellectual elite, the precocious autodidacts and the relatively literal minded working class. Often the battles seem more of semantics than substance. For instance, I doubt most Christians really think of Heaven as a place outside of time and space in which they will be resurrected in their 18 yo bodies + some plastic surgery and spend all day making the music of the spheres or whatever(not that there's anything wrong with that). And just how complex and independent minded are a group of academics who respond in a reflexively negative way when presented with the assertions of fundamentalist Christians.

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention. You are published, Selwyn. I wasn't going to pay for subscriptions to The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor or The National Review so, when equally curious, quality demanding yet frugal people like me stop wasting money, your readership should skyrocket.

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