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(RNS) "Writing 'S.H.O.O.T. First' was part of that process of being able to admit that I am a full-on atheist."


  1. Much of what Mr. Aclin is doing deserves credit. He should keep in mind, however, that the angels and devil in Christianity serve the purpose of directing our attention to metaphysical concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, that are the foundations of any society that hopes to continue and prosper.

    I would quibble only with Aclin’s assertion that science one day will replace religion. Sorry, but no scientist nor theologian can even touch that notion. Science and theology do not address the same “object.” Never can.

    • The idea that there is such an easy, clear inherent boundary between good and evil is one of the foundations of ignorance. Its not metaphysical, and its not a positive foundation of society, it fosters hatred, irrational fear, prejdice and jingoism.

    • The perfect example of this being the literary figure which is Satan. Who in the bible really does nothing wrong, he only opposes God, he tells Eve the truth in the garden of Eden that eating the fruit will not kill her but will provide her with understanding of right and wrong. Yet he is viewed as the archetypal evil while God is viewed as the archetypal good for no other reason than because the bible says so.

      • The snake was not satan. When that story was written and for hundreds of years afterwards, ‘satan’ was a position…a title or office. And it meant accuser. The satan was to test humanity and see if we are worthy of Yahweh’s love.

        It wasnt’ until after the captivity and long exposure to Zoroastrianism in Babylon that the idea of satan-the-office becoming Satan-the-person. As Jews became more helenized and exposed to philosophy ideas about where comes good and evil came into play and the idea of “The Adversary” was solidified.

    • Of course it can. And if it doesn’t, if humanity continues to place comforting myth above understanding the reality of our world then we are doomed. The only thing religion has done for us is fill in gaps in our understanding so we don’t feel quite to powerless against the big-bad and very deadly world.

      Science, that is the sum total of human understanding, has already reached the point where the biblical god is superfluous. We know where we came from, we know where the world came from, we know what causes storms, earthquakes, and floods. We also know all about diseases and how to fight them, with better methods coming down the pipe all the time.

      What religion still good for?