10,000 Thank Yous!



A word about the stat counter: I started it in October 28, 2005, just guessing that MAYBE 800 visitors had been to the site since I resurrected it with Typepad on April 8, 2005. I thought I might get another 800 visitors or so over the next several months. Your response has been overwhelming, as I’m now getting over 60 unique visits a day. You have exceeded my wildest expectations. Thank you.

I have also disabled the counter for my own visits both from home and work. There are several avid readers in both places. But I didn’t want to unfairly inflate the count.

To be sure, many visitors are CUT apologists or gawkers. But I have to judge from some of the emails I’ve been getting that some of the content is actually meaningful and helpful to some of you. Those messages are extremely gratifying. If I’ve helped even one person get clear of the influence of their religion, or realize the sordid human story behind it, it’s worth 100 of the hateful comments and messages I recieve.

And even for those who don’t get it yet–you will. The world is on an irreversible trend toward greater acceptance of objective reality. Though 90% of Americans claim to have some god-belief, that statement means something a whole lot different than it used to. With science explaining away more and more of the mysteries of our existence every day, I’d be willing to bet that if the questions were asked properly in a scientific manner, you’d have a lot of hedging and beating arond the bush:

Here’s the type of survey questions I’d like to see asked:

  • Putting aside your specific faith, do you think that there is an actual personal God, who is able to hear you and answer your prayers?
  • Have you ever seen direct evidence of such a prayer being answered?
  • What if two different people on opposing sides of a war or football game both pray equally earnestly to their god to help them win. Do you think that God could answer both of their prayers?
  • What if you pray for something that is against the law or causes someone else harm. Could God answer that prayer?
  • If you doubted the existence of God, would you admit it?
  • Do you think you could be a good person if you didn’t believe in God?
  • Aside from religion, can you think of any other area of life where it would be considered a positive value to accept unseen people, places, and events as existing without evidence?
  • Why do you think religion gets a pass on this question?
  • Don’t you think it would be a good idea to have the same standards of evidence apply to all areas of life?

"Well, I don’t know if it’s an actual person…." "Well I don’t know if he specifically answers people’s prayers…" at the end of a properly worded scientific survey, you’d probably have less than half those people who actually think there’s a personal god in heaven who actually hears and answers their prayers, for example. These would be the onto-theologists. The rest would be anthropo-theologists, who simply see and enjoy the rituals or results they see in the world, and they like to solace religion gives to them regarding their death, death of family, etc. Or they like the social circles they participate in at church. But this group harbors fewer illusions about a personal deity.

So I think people are figuring it out slowly, and some of the recent resurgence we see in organized religion is simply the entire enterprise approaching a point of desperation. I have eternal hope that reason and capability for abstract thinking will prevail, both in your own lives and as a framework for peace and forward movement in the larger world. Independence of Mind: That’s something to celebrate this July 4th!

Best regards to all and have a fantastic Independence Day weekend!

Comments (2 comments)

Matt Crandall / July 1st, 2006, 1:44 pm / #1


Congratulations! And you deserve all the praise in the world. In the short time I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve found it to be insightful, and you to be one of the more thoughtful bloggers out there. To be sure, when you are dealing with content that, rightly or wrongly, is very controversial, there is a tendency towards fanaticism on both sides of the fence. I find you to be one of the exceptions to that rule.

Congratulations, and keep up the good work!


BlackSun / July 4th, 2006, 12:57 am / #2

Thanks olly–kudos to you as well!

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