Religion vs. Thought

Tonight in our arena!

OK, time for controversy. I want to state at the very beginning of this page that I hate above all things the use of labels. While they have limited usefulness (as in telling you what the heck is in the cans on the shelf of your local grocery store), I believe that they lead all too quickly and commonly to prejudice (judging in advance) and a lack of true communication. From there, it's just a short hop to emotional exchanges, name calling, and some people continue from there on to hate crimes. If you want labels on your people, fine. Do with them what you will, but I don't think it'll turn out very happily.

That being said, let's get ready for a roller coaster ride!

I've never been a fan of orthodoxy in any way. I rather liked the attitude Mohandas K. Gandhi had, which is to say that if you take the complete set of religious beliefs each person has, you'll never find complete agreement between any two people. He liked to think, then, that every person had a distinct, separate religion all his own. That concept gives us around 5 billion religions in the world (give or take a few million, then cut out the non-religious, and I'll get to this in a minute). This makes accepting those who believe differently a lot easier, since you won't find anyone who doesn't. Unless you're identicle twins who were born and raised by a cult in the outback of Wyoming that stresses complete conformity and control of thought, but how many of those are there? Anyway, it makes religious life much less contentious and stressful. At least I think it could do so.

For those who INSIST on using labels, I suppose you could say that I am an atheist, humanist, Rationalist, Freethinker, ex-Christian and Materialist. Add in smatterings of Epicurian and Stoic philosophies, and you come fairly close. Labels being what they are, you can only find out so much about my complete (though far from completed!) belief system using them.

A note on the freethought movement: When I see the term "Freethought" I have some pre-conceived notions about what it means (see the prejudice?). To me, Freethought means that all ideas and beliefs are open for discussion. If you want to convince me that a belief I hold is wrong, I will be happy to hear you out. We can discuss the merits of our conflicting beliefs, so long as we don't get overly emotional about our positions. And, if you convince me you're right, I'll adopt your position. If I convince you I'm right, you'll adopt my position. It's called Dialectic. It should be a very civil and calm process.*

Latest ANNOUNCEMENT! Due to the requests of several correspondents, I have created a BLOG for myself!

Revision -- Due to a nearly complete lack of interest, my blog died a sad and lonely death. Figures.

Further revision -- In an effort to entertain my readers a little more, in a non-reality-based sort of way, I have created a new blog, where I am posting a full-sized novel of (IMO) old-style science fiction. Read all about it here.



My Religious Autobiography (Updated 6/16/04)

What I think of Death

The religion/science problem

Bible Comments using Logic!

Look at God's Promises!

What do you pray for?

What's YOUR Excuse?

NT to OT link?

Is religion "Anti-thought?"

Did Christianity give us Science?

A Battle Against Religion!

Why I ignore Christian recruiters

Praying for me?

Select Bible contradictions

The Age of Faith

Thoughts on Pascal's Wager

Revolting childrens' literature

Living With Discrimination

Death by Faith

Gaps for God?

On the tradition of Demonization

Message for YEC's

A Lesson from Hawaii

Intelligent Design?

The Essence of Religion

Breaking the "Wedge"

What I think of Jesus

No black holes!

Get rid of the Weather Service!

All "fundamentalists," please read

Abortion puzzle for Christians

Religious porn

The unbelievable God

Let's talk "trilemma"

Should we trust Christians?


Developing a Philosophy

Morality: Christian vs. Humanist!

This Wonderful Universe!

World Government, anyone?

Is Atheism Better?

Atheism Forever?

The Lies of the Past

Why Spread Atheism?

Keep Schools Secular!

Do we NEED authority?

The Promise of Atheism!

New Footprints in the Sand

Thoughts on Growing Up

Raising a Child of Freethought

Fish Behavior

Thoughts on Self-esteem

Is your mind open?

Middle-East Message

The Importance of happiness

Religion and the Brain

Objective Morality

Atheist' "sad outlook"

God and Happiness

Atheist - Believer... What's the diff?

My favorie philosopher

Social Intelligence


On loving America

Why do I write?

The value of education

My thoughts on the Tsunami

Harry Potter

Free to Disagree?

Some thoughts on Boy Scouts

"The" Meaning of Life?

Effects of conversion

Fun Stuff

Quotes Galore!

Fun with God!Updated 6/12/03

Movie Guide for Fundamentalists!

Popular Atheist Music


The Ten-Minute Universe!

Amazing Scientific Breakthrough!

Mississippi's Latest Religion

Jehovah's Performance Review

Silly e-mails

- These are my personal favorites.


All articles are (c) J. Eric Harrington 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 unless otherwise noted.
Other articles will come out as I develop and edit them.

Astronomy Sci-Fi/Fantasy ScubaWriting

Here's my page of interesting religion/philosophy links

* -- I want to make it clear that my statement above is not an open invitation to the internet community for debate. It's hypothetical. At any given time, I tend to get involved in debates with folks through e-mails, and that's fine. But I ask any who want to debate with me to be polite and ask before launching a series of salvos in my direction. In spite of the appearance of this site, I do in fact have a life, and I don't have the energy to be mucking around with 2 or 3 debates at the same time. Oh, and one more little thing. Please take my test for Religious Idiocy before mailing me. If you test positive for being an idiot, I recommend you not bother. It would be a shame to waste your efforts and my time. 'Nuff said.

New Section! I have an AWARD!

Happy day!!

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If your reaction to my material is interesting or thoughtful, I will try to reply. If not, I may put your words into my Gallery of E-mail Stupidity (sure to be a big hit!)

Update: 6/22/99:
As always, I welcome and encourage comments. So far, the comments I have received have been of a high quality, both from those who agree with me and from those who disagree. My thanks go to both groups of people - they give me reason to think that maybe(!) there are fewer loonies on the internet than my first impressions led me to believe. I will continue to warn people, however, that I appreciate thoughtful responses for just that quality - thoughtfulness.

I appreciate stupid and hateful responses only for their entertainment value, and I will collect such messages for that purpose. If you suspect I will do this with your message, please rest assured: I will copy your message completely and post it without your name or e-mail address (I keep that information on record - wouldn't want to be accused of copyright infringement!).

One last item. Some people have this crazy notion that there is a world-wide conspiracy of atheists, working to dominate and destroy the religions of the world's faithful. Nothing could be farther from the truth! For more information, please click on the picture below:




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