What inspired this discussion?
What inspired, or fomented, it are the claims I’ve seen here that some were born atheists.
Why so impossible a claim?
Were they wanting to be among the first to board a metaphorical train?
Okay, claim away, and take a seat in a metaphorical first class coach.
For the rest of us, coming to atheism is a personal journey.
Something else inspired it too, an essay by a Chris Reeve titled Science Is A Personal Journey.
More to come. In the meantime, what say you?
You had to learn to be spiritual, you needed to know what that required. I don't believe for a second that it came to you native. The Catholic schools were part and parcel of that.
Larry, I won’t try to prove something you “don’t believe for a second”.
I wonder, one autumn my Dad and I ate peaches from our back yard orchard and then planted 12 seeds, each marked with a wooden stick with a number 1 through 12 on the sticks. Remember how ugly a peach seed looks?
Each month we dug up one peach seed to see how it looked. Several months went by, until one time, there were two odd appendages, one pointed to the center of the Earth, and one pointed toward the sky.
How did that happen? What were those things? What are they called?
The embryonic shoot (plumule) grew upwards, and the embryonic root (radicle) grew downwards.
Food needed for germination came from endosperm tissue within the seed and from the first two leaves that formed (cotyledon). Eventually, we witnessed a tree that had blossoms and birds and bees.
Oh! From where do babies come? and What have birds and bees got to do with my questions? and From where do peaches come? Our garden with rabbits that we bred and raised for meat clarified some other problems. Sex! Oh!
I wasn't born an atheist, nor was I a theist, nor a none; I was a questioner. Somewhere between my simple questions and my realization that I am an atheist was wandering in the wilderness of belief in gawd, Jeeshous, heaven and hell, salvation and damnation, sanctification and condemnation.
It took me far too long to sort out truth from fable.
Joan, I wrote into a memoir that when I was born I had lungs and told my parents I wasn’t okay with what they’d done.
I too was not an atheist, etc. I was a complainer.
A nickel says I complained sooner than you questioned.
A baby, crying, communicates in his or her language. The parents learn the child's language until the child learns the parent's.
My great-granddaughter is talking to us all the time in our language, but it is not yet understood. Too often, I say that I can't understand and would she please tell me again. With a smirk that would toast the toes of toads and a hand on her hip, she repeats her statement, irritated by our inability to understand her perfectly articulated thoughts.
Re the peach seeds, Joan. Do the two ‘appendages’ grow from particular places on a seed, such as one from the rounder end of the seed and the other appendage from the more pointed end?
Curiosity is another vice I enjoy.
It seems my response did not publish; I will try again.
I don't remember the details of those appendages. However, later opportunities arose for me to learn these details. This early experience, and my being at the elbow of Dad, Grandma Denoo, and Grandma Whitehead in their gardens seems to set me on a course that I followed my whole life.
No, Tom, I gave you a shot rather than a compliment. Are you familiar with the distinction between connotations and denotations?
If not let me put it in a way that you will understand. You were being a dick for no reason. There is a context in which such criticism of language is apposite. But an informal debate is not the place for it. Stick to the merit. And if you don't have anything to say about the substance of a comment rather than its form keep it to yourself.
Frankie, if you will list your linguistic attainments, I might feel chastened.
Tom you are incorrigible.
Instead of saying nothing, apologizing, or addressing the substance of my comment you deflect.
Frankie, I considered addressing your post’s substance, and even wrote several lines, but lacked some info. I asked for it and you provided it; my linguistic attainments at least rival yours.
Some of what I’d written:
I have used mouse traps and saw your remark that I took the cheese as saying a trap had failed. I revisited the relevant earlier posts, saw no trap, and decided you were doing what poets must do: using language creatively. You do that well, even enthusiastically.
I then wrote that informality reveals what formality may conceal.
If you are of the male persuasion, your use of “dick” suggests to me that you may have a problem with maleness. You perhaps saw the posts Bert and I exchanged.
“...being a dick for no reason”? You might not see reasons for my “dickiness“; I’m 87 and may someday see them.
As to a comment’s form, I will borrow from the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and say form follows function. A post’s substance and its form are related.
I had a reason for asking you to list your linguistic attainments.
I needed to know if your asking if I knew how connotations and denotations differ was a tactic I sometimes use: bullying. Your reply told me it was.