January 8th, 2009

pretender

magic and puzzles

An atheist friend of mine sent me an email recently that I've been trying to formulate a reply to and have not been having success making it coherent and, well, not totally conceited. The message was a forward of something that he'd sent to a mutual acquaintance who's a conservative. It was in response to a response from a video against teaching intelligent design in science class. I don't know what prompted the exchange or what the reply to the video was, but my friend seemed to be trying to explain his perspective on life, I guess. He admits it's not intellectually rigorous. He sent it to me, and a couple other acquaintances, he says, in the interest of understanding. Two of the people that were CC'd sent their replies to everyone.

If this sounds confusing it should. I've been thinking about the material in the email for days and not been having a lot of success trying to formulate a reply. And now that these other replies have been shared with all, I feel more pressure to come up with a reply that is diplomatic enough to share with everyone. The other replies seemed to focus on aspects that I wasn't thinking of at all, and both replies ended up sharing quotations that inspired them. There is no way I would go this route, and that makes me even more hesitant to use the reply all feature.

Then, to top everything off, I tried to explain some of the things I was thinking about to my mother--never really a good idea--and she complained that religion and magic are not the same thing. Clearly, she was missing the fact that where she sees different things, I see things that are closely related.

I'm going to try to get my thoughts in order by replying to various points here, because just thinking about various approaches isn't helping. Here goes.

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Yeah, that was long. Three hours later, I give up.
Read at your own peril, I guess.