I thank Ms. L. Sachs and Mr. T. Nelson for their thoughts on my response to Deacon Rollie Comeau’s column on the existence of god. It is really wonderful to engage in public discourse over what I take to be such fascinating matters.
To Ms. Sachs I say that the real difference between she and I is what counts as evidence for the existence of god. For example she offers as evidence the facile truth that archaeology has confirmed many Biblical place names. By that standard we must conclude that every boat found in Viking burial mounds is proof that Thor is the true god of thunder.
In contradistinction I look for real evidence of god and find none. The Bible story is not corroborated by archaeology. Some of the many things that surely should be recorded outside of the Bible, but are completely missing, include any evidence to corroborate that Moses ever lived, or that Pharaoh’s army was wiped out in a flood, or that it was a Roman census that drove Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, or that when Jesus died dozens (perhaps thousands!) of dead people were wandering around Jerusalem. And then Jerusalem was rocked by an earthquake but no one in the ancient world noticed. Or, let’s at least have a contemporaneous eye-witness record of anything Jesus is supposed to have done. Or, why did Jesus himself not write out his own message if it was so important?
I do not begrudge Ms. Sachs her faith but let her not mistake it for the facts we find in the real world. Her apparent need to be right seems to compel her to dismiss my argument by impugning my character. My journey from evangelical street evangelist to apostate is the product of years of careful study and consideration. But somehow Sachs knows that the real reason I doubt god is that I am too selfish to be helped. I can almost feel her patting me on the head as she quotes the Bible to prove that the Bible is true.
To Mr. Nelson I say that while your letter does not explicitly connect to mine, I do find it very interesting. Unfortunately I’m near my allotted limit.