|EBON MUSINGS: THE ATHEISM PAGES||INTRODUCTION|
I created Ebon Musings not to offend, but to educate and provoke thought. That is and always has been my intention. Not having been brought up under the auspices of any particular religion, I feel I'm in a fairly good position to evaluate them all objectively. To that end, I've made it a goal of mine to do just that. I've read the sacred texts of several religions to learn about what they believe, I've read apologetics books that attempt to build a case for their teachings, and I've sought out proselytizers and invited them to try to convert me using the best arguments they can offer. In short, I've taken it upon myself to research religions and find out how their claims stack up against the evidence and how their doctrines fare when subjected to critical thinking and analysis. This site is largely the result of that quest. It is my hope that people who read it may gain a new perspective or think about things in a way that hadn't occurred to them before.
I ask only that those who read this site keep an open mind. Instead of starting out with the firm belief that my conclusions cannot possibly be correct no matter what I say, I encourage visitors to read what I have to say all the way through, fairly consider my arguments and ask themselves - honestly and fearlessly - which way the evidence really points. Most importantly, I urge visitors to follow wherever the facts lead and be willing to change their mind. The one sentiment held in common by all sides in this debate is that we have nothing to fear from the truth. Of course, if I'm wrong, then I invite all comers to prove me wrong; if you find any genuine errors of fact on my site, I strongly encourage you to write and notify me.
I do occasionally mock or poke fun at religion, because someone needs to. I offer no apologies for that. Nor do I hold even the most ancient or venerated traditions and institutions of theism exempt from criticism. The term "sacrosanct" makes little impression on me. If that idea offends you, all I can say is that it shouldn't. Any sincere believer should welcome honest review and critique, which pose no threat to truth; only falsehoods have something to fear from criticism. If there is a god, I am certain he can withstand my arguments and take care of himself. On the other hand, if there is no god, then I am doing the right thing by pointing that out, am I not?
One final note: As an atheist, I reject all religions and disbelieve in all gods alike. However, I have had more experience with some religions than others; in particular, since I live in the United States of America, most of the theists I deal with are evangelical Protestant Christians. Furthermore, since the theists of any tradition who proselytize most aggressively, who pursue secular power most zealously, and who most frequently use force and coercion against those who believe differently are the fundamentalists and extreme conservatives, it is they and not the liberals or moderates whom I feel must be most strongly opposed. If it seems that this site is singling out any particular religion or doctrine, that's why; I write about what I'm most familiar with and what concerns me the most. If you don't feel that a particular article is speaking to you and your beliefs, that's probably because it isn't. There are, of course, some essays devoted to analyzing some beliefs specific to particular religions in greater detail.
If you're so inclined, feel free to send me some feedback. Praise and compliments will be highly appreciated; corrections will be graciously acknowledged; threats of hellfire and promises that you'll pray for my soul will provoke amusement on my part. Long, rambling rants and cut-and-pasted religious tracts will be deleted, but otherwise I read and respond to all e-mail. However, I strongly encourage visitors who disagree with my position to make sure they have read my site in a reasonable level of detail before writing to tell me so, to ensure that their comments are not already addressed somewhere on it. Your best chance to get a thoughtful reply is to send a thoughtful letter.