Defending my Story
By Merle Hertzler
I have indented quotes from the critique, with the black representing my words and the red representing Wilson's.
I was terrified of hell and would often lie awake at night worrying about it.
So I did it [trust Jesus]. Did I do it right? I didn't know. So I did it again. I still wasn't sure that I had done it right. So I did it again and again in my mind.
This is normal fears and actions of many new believers.
Wilson says everyone should lie awake at night worrying about hell. I can understand why he might say that. The torment of hell--if it actually exists--is beyond imagination. Even a minor burn can make a person desperate to get help. But what about continuous burns over all of the body for all eternity with no rest? Can you imagine the torment that would be? Surely if hell exists, than it should dominate nearly every waking thought of every person.
But what can be the purpose of such torment? Can Wilson love the God that would do that to his creatures?
I cannot see how a child lying in bed with the fear of hell is good. Does Wilson think that such fears help children grow up to be healthy, productive adults?
In college, I joined an independent Baptist church, which then controlled every aspect of my life.
It is unclear what “they controlled” or what you allowed them to “control” or if this is bitter talk after an unpleasant experience.
The pastor boomed his message from the pulpit, yelling at those who listened to rock music, stayed home on visitation night, gave less than 10% of their income to the church, or attended a movie theatre. We were told exactly how to live our lives, and we obediently followed. It was the only life we knew.
Basically, the pastor was telling people that if Christians did the same things as the unsaved world then the unsaved won’t listen to a Christian witness. The activities of the world show people how to live life without God and only wrecks lives. Christ always preached how one should modify their behaviors continually. Christian people should always be open to how they can improve their behaviors and what things to avoid seeing and doing so as not to become evil like the world.
In my senior year of college (1978) the pastor moved to another congregation, and the church deteriorated into disarray. I was confused. This was all I had to live for, and it had fallen apart. I saw the dark side of the church .
He saw the dark side of one church and blamed the whole church for the unpleasant situations.
There was chaos at some church functions. Once when we were singing Just As I Am over and over as an alter call, people became so bored that the song died in the middle of the verse and we never finished it. I had thought that we were saving the world. Now I looked at the lives that had been "saved", and wondered if it had meant anything.
One major problem with “Christians” and non-Christians is that they look at other people for Christ rather than looking at Christ himself. People can only be a faint/ distant image of Christ in their fallen bodies. It is stupid to have a faith trusting in man and his behavior rather than trusting in God and His promises.
When I say that this fundamentalist church controlled every aspect of my life at the time, that is not just bitter talk. Fundamentalism was all I knew. I spent hours each week in prayer and Bible study. Every Saturday I visited the bus route. Every Sunday we went out on buses to bring children to church. We dared not go to movies or do anything that the church condemned. Fundamentalism did indeed control me.
Wilson misunderstands the thoughts of the "unsaved". He says the pastor's condemnation of rock music and movies was necessary so that the "unsaved" would listen to Christians. I think the opposite is true. Fundamentalists that are unaware of the culture in which they are surrounded are seen as oddities, not as shining examples to the world. Few people admire fundamentalists who refuse to view movies or read the writings of those that oppose them.
And, yes, the problems that arose at my fundamentalist church were devastating to me. For we were taught that our fundamentalism was saving the world. We were taught that the folks that were getting "saved" were receiving the Holy Spirit and would have a wonderful change in their lives. But when I looked at the lives that should have been changed, I found that the claim was false. And that is something fundamentalism must answer. If fundamentalism is the solution to our faults as humans, why are fundamentalist churches plagued with so many human problems? And if the claim of changed lives is not true, then fundamentalists should not make the claim.
There was something else that bothered me. I had been reading through the Bible every year since I was in 11th grade--every word of every verse--and was finding a lot of problems. Have you ever read the tales of killing, greed, and arrogance that fill the Old Testament? Do you ever question their relevance? I was not sure that I could trust the Bible any longer. As my confidence in the Bible withered, apathy set in.
This should have been a reason to actually ask someone about these problems, instead of keeping them to himself. Even if the pastor didn’t have the answers, there have been apologetics books around for centuries that answer Bible difficulties.
I was finding an even bigger problem. I saw skeptics on the forum arguing that the Bible commanded massacres (e.g. 1 Samuel 15), praised terrorism (e.g. Psalm 137), and allowed slavery (e.g. Exodus 21). I knew I had no chance against their arguments.
Especially if you only read
one psychology magazine. It would be of interest to know that the attacks
described above were on people who were more vile than much of what
I had known such things were in the Bible ever since I had read the Bible years before, but I had learned to ignore the faults. But it was no longer possible to ignore them. My faith was crumbling.
Once again, there have been plenty of books on Bible difficulties and apologetics for decades. Norman Geisler would have been known to even the smallest churches had a member approached the pastor about Bible difficulties.
Yes, I was well aware of the apologists. I had taken a course in Biblical apologetics at the Christian college I had attended. The textbook was written by Geisler. And yet I find that the answers I was given were so inadequate.
In response to the slavery, terrorism, and massacres of the Bible, Wilson informs me that these were done to "people who were more vile:" But the massacre I referred to involves the killing of babies! Is Wilson going to tell me that the babies were vile? How can it be right to kill those babies? Psalms 137 praises the killing of babies. Cannot Wilson see the problem with such behavior?
My Christian hope had gone. I can not begin to describe the despair that filled my life for the first two years after graduation. There was nothing to live for.
Schools teach atheism which creates the feeling of no hope. It is the belief of creation organizations that schools teaching evolution have created many skeptics and atheists. But there have been creation organizations around since the sixties which was well before his growing doubts and skepticism.
I wanted to be happy. I knew apathy, bitterness, struggle, frustration, anger and confusion.
Probably the result of wanting to live in the world and its lifestyle of lies yet knowing it leads to death and hell.
When my Christian hope had faded, why didn't I look for something else? I didn't know there was another way. I had grown up in Christian schools, Sunday schools, and Bible studies.
You also grew up in the public schools that taught evolution 8 hours a day five days a week compared to the one or two hour(s) of Bible per week.
The Bible was the only hope I knew about, and it now seemed inadequate. I never thought to look elsewhere--such is the grip that religion can have.
Ironically, his doubts and despair are the results of having looked elsewhere.
I wish now that somebody had told me how to live the good life without the Bible.
That is an oxymoron.
When I first became disillusioned with Christianity, it led to a period of deep despair. Wilson states that my despair was probably from living a worldly lifestyle knowing it would lead to hell. No, it was the opposite. All I knew at the time was the lifestyle I knew as a Christian. I still refused alcohol; wore an Independent Baptist above-the-ears haircut (which was a big deal in the seventies); and seldom attended movies. I maintained the fundamentalist lifestyle, for it was the only lifestyle I knew. But I did not fear hell, for I no longer believed in hell. The problem was that I could no longer trust the Bible and I had nothing to put in its place. So I drifted into despair and apathy.
I think that many young people go through similar experiences. They are disillusioned with the faith as teenagers, and they drift away. But they find nothing to put in the place of the Christianity they grew up with. And so they find themselves returning to the faith, since faith is better than apathy. But they could have found something better.
The problem with Wilson's logic is one of a false dichotomy. There are not just two choices in life--Christianity or apathy. Rather, there are a broad range of options out there. Because Christianity is better than apathy, it does not prove it is better than all possible options.
Wilson says there is no such thing as a good life without the Bible. But I have indeed found a good life without it. I invite Wilson to persuade me that my life is not good.
By the way, I have no idea why Wilson interprets my statement that I grew up in Christian schools as proof that I grew up in public schools. Perhaps he would like to explain where he came up with that comment!
In desperation, I turned to Christian books. I had no intention of going back to my fundamentalist Baptist days. But I thought that perhaps a milder brand of Christianity could help.
Lukewarm Christianity is spit out of Christ’s mouth as quickly as direct defiance to God.
As I read, my spirit was refreshed. Was God leading me back to himself? I thought that he was. And so I made a commitment to walk close to the Lord again. I found that Christianity worked much better for me than apathy.
The first common sense thing you’ve said so far and yet it runs counter to everything else you’ve said about Christianity.
I would often go to a park and find a forsaken place alone with God where I could lie down and pray. I would pour out my heart to God, and I would leave refreshed. I took this as proof that Christianity was true.
It is one of the many signs of faith.
Why do I have a feeling this is leading to some line about needing to find a group that boosts your ego and tells you how to boost your self-esteem. Actions the Bible condemns.
Some of the Christians at this church came from a range of religious backgrounds. This was new to me. Some people disagreed with the way I understood Christianity. A few believed in evolution, or at least that the earth was billions of years old. Others told me that my religious philosophy did not work, that other philosophies worked better. There were big differences. I thought that we should despise our evil inner self--they thought that we should love ourselves... They told me that my philosophy was depressing.
Liberal theology, as I stated above is cancerous. I have a feeling that, rather than helping, these destructive beliefs will lead this story to the author rejecting Christianity.
I began to incorporate new ideas into my mind. I did my best to piece together a progressive philosophy of life that would keep my faith in spite of these problems. I experimented with ways to include evolution, an errant Bible, a higher view of the self, and even humanism into my Christianity.
A stupid and bizarre combination.
Meanwhile, I moved on to other interests: country dancing, movies,
Things that he was told he should avoid previously lest he slip away.
Wilson sees a problem with moderate Christians who teach self-esteem, allow their members to attend movies, or are open to evolution. He condemns a great swath of the church. And no, I do not see such moderate churches as causing people to slip away from Christianity. Rather, many of these churches serve as a safety net to retain people who cannot accept fundamentalism. Many of these churches are huge and growing rapidly. I find that many are filled with people that were once fundamentalists. For many of these people, these churches stop the slide away from the faith. For years they did the same for me. I was able to hold on in a moderate church, and not abandon the faith after being disillusioned with fundamentalism.
But then I got new knowledge.
Wilson says that my prayers were a sign of my faith. Yes, they were. I was a man of faith. I had been born-again. Faith dominated my life, first as a fundamentalist, and later as a conservative evangelical. I was once a Christian, but I am not a Christian now.
When people did unkind things to me, my philosophy "explained" it--it was because they gave in to their evil, sinful nature.
I would get bitter at those who had followed their inner sinful nature, sometimes snapping at people and letting them know how bad they were.
This isn’t Biblical.
I found religion helped me to keep my mouth shut.
I hope this lesson didn’t take too long to figure out.
Instead of snapping out in anger, I learned to hold the anger inside, for I believed that it came from my fallen nature. And I did not want my fallen nature to express itself. I wanted only my new positive nature, as produced by the Holy Spirit, to come out. So the old, angry words were constrained. I believed that my "old self" was bad, and that every day I had to die to this self. So I set out to surrender my basic wants and desires to God.
Why do I feel like you’re reading this out of a theological book instead of actually believing it and living it?
Wilson agrees with my former views, that people do unkind things because they give in to their evil natures. And he agrees with my solution back then, that of keeping my mouth shut even though I knew the people I met were evil.
I have found that this is a most desperate way to live life. I saw people as evil, but I was not allowed to say what I thought, for that only got me into trouble. And so I tried to live a double life, in which my thoughts would think evil of others, but my words would be kind. That is a most miserable way to live life.
I find it far easier to treat others with respect when my mind respects them for what they are. When my mind had seen them as evil, it was impossible to show sincere respect.
No, the life I described was not simply something I read out of a theology book. Theology was a way of life for me. It permeated my entire life during that time. If my description of life during that time sounds like theology, that is because I was a walking theology book.
But I have since learned a better way. In humanism I can see the value of people and appreciate that which is good. Kind words are much easier when one thinks and feels good things about others.
Does Christianity Work?
And [Christianity] certainly worked better than apathy. This outlook gave me a reason to live.
Exactly. Without Christ, suicide and death is the all consuming expectation or the need to hide these thoughts with deviant sexual behavior, drugs, alcohol, meaningless activities…
I assumed that it worked because it was right. (I now think that it worked because it gave me a purpose.) I had found this one great pillar to support my faith--Christianity must be true because it works, at least it works for me.
“Christianity working” is also another sign of its truthfulness yet once again, one of many signs.
What did they mean it didn't work? Of course it worked! It worked far better for me than the depression I had been in. And I had scripture to back it up.
That should have been end of story then.
My experience and prayers told me that my philosophy worked better; their experience and prayers told them that their philosophy worked better. Who was right?
The one where scripture backs it up.
I was soon to have my eyes opened to many other philosophies that supposedly worked best. I would soon meet believers in Mormonism, Islam, Bahai, Judaism, Wicca, and Atheism.
I don’t believe scripture backs these up.
Each was sure that his way had worked for him, thus proving that it was the best.
No, just proves they “thought” it was best or wanted it to be the best.
And I was going to hear of many psychological solutions, again with testimonials for each claiming that it was better than other techniques.
Obviously everyone will say they are best. We can’t be complete idiots and trust everything everyone says.
I was not the only one who had claimed that my experience proved that I was right.
Experience is far from being enough.
Lots of people were claiming that they had tried something and this made them feel better. Do all philosophies work? How can everyone claim that his or her way wins?
People believe Satan’s lies. That’s how.
I knew I could not be sure that it was Christianity that made the difference.
That’s why experience shouldn’t be the only test of truthfulness of Christianity.
Well, what I actually said is that Christianity works better than apathy, not that it works better than humanism. I have found that humanism works quite well. I have not found the need for deviant sexual behavior, drugs, or meaningless activities in humanism, as Wilson suggests. Rather, I have found a reason to live.
How can Wilson explain the fact that others experience a wonderful life without Jesus? He seems to think that everybody else is lying when they tell him they have had a great experience in something other than his Jesus. Can he not see the good of people outside of his religion?
He asks for the scripture to be the final determination. But the scripture is filled with contradictions. How can a contradictory book be used to direct our steps?
There was a second great pillar on which I based my faith. This pillar had stood firm even during the days of despair. I was quite familiar with the teachings of Henry Morris and the young earth creationists. I thought that this was the most logical explanation for how the earth began...Other things in the Bible may have been difficult to believe, but I had these two great pillars of my faith--a belief that Christianity as I knew it worked, and a belief that Genesis was the best explanation for how we got here.
Excellent start. Let us hope you stick with this instead of looking for a way to destroy these beliefs.
I couldn't believe that I was there in the middle of it all. But I was not about to leave a good debate. I decided to let people know that evolution was a bad idea.
Doing that without being prepared is foolish and destructive.
I made some progress arguing that the complexity of genes made evolution difficult,
It makes evolution impossible, not difficult.
But somebody wanted to know where all of those fossils had come from, if not from hundreds of millions of years of evolution. I suggested they might have been caused by Noah's flood.
It should have been your “final” answer not your suggestion.
My argument was defeated in one round. I was asked to explain how it is that we find rocks made of wind-blown sand in the midst of all these rocks under the earth. I had no answer.
You weren’t prepared.
Wind certainly wouldn't be blowing sand around under the floodwaters.
I guess the possibility that he was lied to or that he was given bad information never popped into his head. TJ had research showing that layers that were previously thought to be created by wind only can actually be produced in the lab in flood conditions. This just shows that the previous research wasn’t thorough or that those people had an agenda and were trying to dismantle flood theory to discredit the Bible.
I told myself the problem was that I was not familiar enough with the issues. So I avoided the subject of the flood until I could find better answers. But I never did find a satisfactory answer to this simple problem, nor to many of the other problems with Noah's flood.
CRSQ magazine and TJ magazine answer these questions on a quarterly basis. They have been around long enough that he should have been spending more money on finding truth with Christian journals rather than secular journals.
So I concentrated instead on problems that I perceived with the mechanism of evolution. I describe this struggle elsewhere, and need not repeat it here. (Click here to read that story.)
Here is an offsite web that totally dismantles all aspects of evolution and anti-creation websites: http://www.trueorigins.org/
In eighteen months, after the dust had settled, I had switched to the side of evolution. It was a complete change. Now many have survived the switch to evolution, and they still have faith.
Faith in what?!? Sounds like more confusion.
His "final answer" is that the flood of Noah caused most of the fossil record. But the flood has been shown repeatedly to be inadequate as an explanation. It has been known for a long time that the earth could not have been covered with a flood in Noah's time. (See Was There a Worldwide Flood?)
Scientists have found buried sand dunes down there in the fossil record, which were clearly caused by blowing winds. The buried dunes include clear marks of the layers where the sand slid down the hill on the downwind side, just like is found in modern sand dunes. Fossils are extremely rare in these buried dunes. The rounded particles of sand found there are typical of wind-blown sand which is rounded by high impacts. This sand is quite different from sand that is cushioned from impacts in water. The evidence shows that the sand was wind-blown, not deposited by water. And yet Wilson declares that these dunes could have been formed underwater in Noah's flood. How could a raging flood produce such features?
He mentions various Creationist sources that are similar to the sources I once used to argue for Creationism. I can assure him that such sources do not stand up when subjected to scientific scrutiny. If he does not believe me, I invite him to present me with one or two articles that he thinks would stand up when challenged. We will see if the articles he mentions have scientific merit.
He says that believing in evolution and Christianity is confusion. Perhaps he should try it. Many Christians have found a way to believe in both, just like they have found a way to believe in a round earth in spite of the Bible's implication that it is flat. They simply take the findings of science, and incorporate them into their faith. Now I agree with Wilson that theistic evolutionists are teaching things not found in the Bible, but sometimes one needs to do that.
No, when I changed my mind about evolution, I was not looking for a way to destroy my beliefs. It was quite the opposite. I argued against evolution. It was the facts that convinced me otherwise. And I would be happy to discuss those facts with Wilson if he desires.
And no, I was not completely unprepared when I went to debate Creationism. One former debate partner describes me as "one of [Creationism’s] better, more coherent advocates." If you ever view the Creation-Evolution debates on the internet, you will see that the Creationists almost always look like fools. I was one of the few that was able to hold my own as a Creationist, but I did it by carefully choosing my battles. But I now see that I was mistaken. I have switched sides.
Why do I have a feeling this is leading to some line about needing to find a group that boosts your ego and tells you how to boost your self-esteem. Actions the Bible condemns.
Some researchers had looked at this state of affairs and asked, "Is it true that 'Everyone has won and all must have prizes'?"
And researchers are somehow immune from mistakes?
The biggest lesson I learned during these computer bulletin board debates was how to form an argument. It was not enough for me to state that Jay Adams, C. S. Lewis, or Thomas Szasz had written something that agreed with me on a particular point. After all, one can find somebody who will agree with almost any religious viewpoint that he expresses. I needed a more effective argument. My favorite source was the Psychoheresy Awareness Ministry of Martin and Deidre Bobgan . Their philosophy closely matched mine. They referred to psychological experiments to support their arguments, and often quoted scientific journals.
There can be found research to back any side. A good combination of research, Biblical evidence, historical evidence and hostile witnesses (opponents backing our own claims) is the best debate form.
I developed a love for scientific experiments and the scientific journals that described them...In 1992, I subscribed to my favorite journal, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology .
Christians with even a little common sense would know that secular psychology runs counter to truth and biblical Christianity. It’s curious, this author choose to ally with falsehoods and witchcraft.
Wilson informs me that the Bible condemns attempts to boost self-esteem. I agree with him on that. (See Self-Esteem and Christian Belief). But I also see the value of self-esteem. So I take the Bible's dismissal of self-esteem as just one more area where it is wrong.
Wilson equates secular psychology with falsehood and witchcraft. I agree that there is much within pop-psychology that is indeed falsehood and even witchcraft. But that fact cannot be used as evidence against sound scientific data found by psychological researchers. I referred to my former subscription to The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which is an example of scientific research. I think perhaps that Wilson could learn something from such sources if he would take the time to read them.
And no, of course researchers are not immune to mistakes. I certainly did not make that claim. But one cannot dismiss all of their discoveries, simply because they are sometimes mistaken.
He says that research can be found to back any side. Well, perhaps one can find pseudo-research for almost any side. One might even find an occasional study with a slight hint at backing a side that is not true. But one cannot find a consistent track record of solid studies clearly backing all sides. That is the difference between science and pseudo-science. Pseudo-science is willing to accept the slightest hint of evidence as though it verifies the claim. True science looks for a consensus of valid studies. Where we find solid backing in research, we can trust the claims.
I find it very interesting that he attacks research, saying research can be found for any side. His argument very effectively refutes the Creationism he has been promoting! He tells us he has found "research" to support his claim, but he himself says that "research" does not prove anything, for one can find "research" for any claim! So why does he trust his Creationist "research"?
The difference between Creationism and evolution is that there is a broad range of solid peer-reviewed research that unequivocally supports evolution.
I could understand why [the followers of Jim Jones] followed so obediently. Religion can do that to a person. Had I been deluded also?
Yes, religions do demand obedience. Like the religion of atheism and its constant demand of obedience to materialism and evil lifestyles.
Do you understand why this was a difficult pill for me to swallow? This was the one great pillar of my Christian faith--the belief that my Bible-supported philosophy worked. Now here were Christians telling me that it did not work.
It’s not just a small group of Christians wanting to push those liberal beliefs. Curious how quickly you were ready to reject what Christianity had taught you previously?
There is no stopping the mind set free. It is like that first leak of water through the dam. It reaches a critical size, and then bursts free. My thoughts refused to stop--the dam had been broken. I read books that were critical of the Bible. I read the Bible from a whole new viewpoint. I found skeptical sites on the Internet. I asked many questions--many of which can be found at this site. I found it harder and harder to identify myself as a Christian Even the label of "Liberal Christian" was losing its appeal. I could no longer believe the basics of Christianity.
Reading only one side will create a one-sided thinker. He wasn’t a free thinker but a single-minded thinker.
In 2002 I decided that I should no longer identify myself as a Christian. What am I? If you need a label, you could call me an Ex-Christian, a humanist, or a freethinker. In September 2002 I created this web site to explain what had happened to me. I hope that it helps you to understand me.
Yes, you’re an idiot.
I am not asking you to follow me. You have a mind of your own. You can decide for yourself. But perhaps you could learn from me.
Learn stupidity? How to follow mindless oafs? How to only read one side of a debate and pretend you know both sides?
I now have a different perspective in life. For instance, I no longer see people as evil.
Why should you? Satan is hard at work trying to get people to believe they are good.
If somebody hurts me, I no longer think they necessarily do it because they are evil. Now I think they may well do it because, from their perception of the circumstance and their knowledge of the world, it seems best for them to act that way at that time.
Moral relativism. I wonder if this good natured attitude would also include when someone rapes his daughter or kills his relatives or burns his house down.
It was hard to forgive hateful vermin who did hateful things. It is easy to forgive confused but well-meaning individuals who do hurtful things.
I guess this means he’s pardoned, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Polpot… men who are responsible for killing 100 million people in the name of humanism.
I find that I am far happier without the bonds of religion.
Freedom to do whatever you want does bring a form of happiness although he is now under the bonds of another religion, humanism.
I hope that neither you nor I will ever stop questioning.
The funny thing is, you did stop questioning. The inconsistencies continue. Illogical thinking like this is a symptom of those who reject the truth of the bible.
I have not chosen an easy path. It is not easy to tell people that I no longer believe that this message is true. But I find the evidence overwhelming.
You have showed no evidence.
If the weight of the evidence were marginal, I would follow the believing crowd and not raise the issue. I do not like to be different. I prefer to follow the crowd.
And you did. The crowd follows evolution and you stepped right in line.
I challenge Wilson to show me where atheist writers make a "constant demand of obedience to materialism and evil lifestyles". Atheists and humanists teach good principles, and leave the decision up to the people. They do not make a constant demand that people must follow what they say. See, for instance, the Humanist Manifesto.
I am sorry if my story did not convey to Wilson the agony with which I struggled to maintain my faith in spite of the new knowledge. I simply was not willing to turn from the faith as Wilson suggests. I argued long and hard for the faith. In fact, many saw my steadfast clinging to the faith, and interpreted it as bull-headedness. To say that I was quickly ready to turn from faith completely misrepresents the intense personal struggle I went through.
Wilson declares that I am not a freethinker, but a single-minded thinker. I can assure Wilson that I diligently studied this issue form both the Christian and non-Christians sides. I am curious if Wilson has done the same. I wonder if he can list some of the evolutionist, humanist, and atheist books that he has read. If he chooses to condemn single-minded thinking, than surely he must not be single-minded himself. I would love to hear what he has read from the other side.
Wilson states that I am an idiot. This is an attack on my person. Now I happen to disagree with his conclusion, but suppose for a minute that it is true. Even if I was completely incompetent mentally, I may be right on certain issues. So if Wilson wants to prove I am wrong on these issues, he will need an argument better than name-calling.
Wilson asks me if I would show the same forgiveness if a crime was committed against me. Let me make this clear: I would certainly want a criminal to be brought to justice, and to be restrained from doing further harm to others. Wilson totally misses my point. The point is that people do things because, from their own perspective, what they are doing seems right. Understanding that fact makes it much easier to be kind to people and cooperate with them. Does that prove others are always right? No, of course not. It only recognizes that they think they are right. And if we seek to understand how others think and understand why they act as they do, it makes it much easier for us to work in cooperation with them.
He declares that Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Polpot killed in the name of humanism. This is completely false. If he wants to make the claim, then I would ask him to please show me evidence that these men adopted humanism.
No, I am not under bonds of humanism. Humanism is a group of principles that many of us have adopted. It is not binding on us in any way. We are free to adjust any point as we see fit. If he would read the Humanist Manifesto, for instance, he would see how wrong his claim is.
He says I have shown no evidence. I think my site stands on its own merits. The evidence is there. And I would be happy to discuss these issues with him if he desires.
Wilson informs me that the crowd follows evolution, and I stepped in line with them. Actually polls have shown that Americans are about equally divided on the evolution issue. But among my family and friends, Creationism is far more popular than evolution. So, yes, it was a big step for me to go out on my own, against the social pressures.
However on the issue of Christianity, there is an overwhelming majority of Americans who support Christianity. My stance for humanism indeed puts me into a minority.
Anybody interested in commenting on this exchange may do so at my blog.