Hugh I would like for you to also meet my parents. (No, not proposing, don't worry. =) I just think you would like them also.) They do not have a site on here but my daughter and I made one for my mom and stepdad on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/477506261 . They are naturalists, atheists, and beautiful people. My mom takes wonderful pictures of dragonflies. I think philosophically we are all in the same boat. Probably too far to meet in person but everybody's close virtually, so decided to introduce. More like minds.
Amsterdam! I have never been there, but have heard it is a liberal's delight. =) I'm looking forward to going some day. My sweetie and I are making a list. We've been lots of places between us, but not always together, and we have catching up to do in that regard. And, there are places neither of us have been that we need to go to. Amsterdam is on the latter list. We have a world map posted in our home and we poke pins in it for where we have been. It's so fun! We realized we are missing whole continents in some cases, (ie most of Africa and South America), which is most disturbing, but yet most of the places we are really keen to visit are slivers that don't touch on the unvisited continents. Eventually we'll hit most; life's only half over. =)
Looking forward to the Pres' address to the nation this week. You have some great points about the toughness he is going to have to start serving up in the face of the tough opposition. Did you catch all the riddiculous stuff from the right on the address to school kids? OMG!!!! I was so appalled. NO other president has EVER been accused of "indoctrinating our youth"; he's the President of our country, for chrissake, freely elected, and representing our nation as our leader, not a commentator or zealot. I'm somewhat alarmed by what appears to be a growing audience for such nonesense, but hoping it's a trend that will reverse. It is a fine line; he can't address comments like that directly or he reduces himself and his position, but he's got to firmly grab the horns of some of teh other stuff and get his minions to loudly laugh at the nonense and wage the PR war that he's well equipped to do. I feel there is this perilous "war" going on in our country between mindsets, it's scary. I'm happy he's in there now, and like you, hope he can don the kevlar and wage it, while still wisely governing. Not an easy task.
Can't wait to meet you!
It's a pleasure to meet another Freethinker in this fine Purple State of ours! =) Nice profile, and beautiful family. If you swing through Chesapeake sometime drop me a line and we could do lunch. I'm not a big talker but I'm a good listerner, and I enjoy meeting others with similar views.
So I have to ask, what do you think of our pending Governor race? Have you read anything about McDonnell's thesis from Regent (Pat) U? YIKES! Granted, it was decades ago and people's opinions and perspectives obviously change, and I don't really like it when folks dredge up "old" opinions that public figures held. Still, he was mid 30s, not a kid. And this was his master's thesis. And his "rebuttals" to criticism on it TODAY sound more like affirmations than rebuttals to me. (Other than he thinks women should be able to work now; that he's changed his mind on through time.) I think that with the chaotic political landscape, especially in Virginia, he could end up as GOVERNOR. I feel like I should do something, but I'm not sure what; sometimes the issues at hand seem so massive and walled that they are impenatratable by lone individuals, but when individuals gather they become a label other than themselves. So sometimes I feel paralyzed, hating something "bad" I see pending, but unsure what to do about it, how to make any sort of impact at all that would matter.
Yes, he is mainly a New Testament specialist, and his books deal primarily with "Christian" issues. One important exception is "God's Problem", which addresses theodicy, otherwise known as the problem of evil (or suffering). It's a very interesting book on one of the most obvious difficulties thinking religious folks have with their faith (or should have, anyway). Now that I understand a little better what you are doing, I doubt that there is any direct meat for your work in Ehrman. "God's Problem" may be of some interest in that there are a lot of Biblical (OT) references addressing God's indifference to suffering, or, more critically, his rationale for visiting it upon us. My guess is that these will have no direct relationship to your work, but that they may allow you to draw some analogies or parallels to your observations or conclusions. I confess that my own atheism began with the absence of an even remotely adequate answer to the problem of evil and suffering, and I have a fondness for this book that is probably out of proportion to its worth. So, while I'd love to have "saved you a lot of time", it seems, on this front at least, I'm not going to be able to do it. If anyone knew how much sweat and pain went into writing a book ahead of time, they'd never do it, would they? :) Of course, like all pain, it recedes with time and, before you know it, it was a wonderful experience and you find yourself doing it again, and again. Writing is a disease!
WHOA. You said it. I thought it was liberating when I could finally tell myself I didn't believe in that shit............as the days go by, I get closer and closer to letting everyone else around me know about it. I can't wait for that day to come........it's just hard around here.......it's nice to have the internet i guess!