A few days ago, I posted a link to “Can an atheist believe in God?” in The Huffington Post’s comment forum in response to this post there by ‘GhostOfFDR’. Almost immediately, a few readers there posted critical replies. The tenure of these comments ranged from…
A) suggestively corrective: “[I] should call yourself Agnostic instead of Atheist. As you continue to learn more and think a little more rationally
B) to non-judgmentally dismissive: “It made no sense.” (‘Michael Hallmark’)
C) to summarily condemning: “To put it nicely, it was complete and utter nonsense.” (‘Dan Jighter’)
Recognizing that others’ perspectives have, at a minimum, the ability to complement my own, I decided to address the most vigorous critic of this group because he challenged my use of terms like “metaphysical”, “metapersonal” and “god”:
“I somewhat doubt the terms metaphysic
So, off I went on a mission to better inform this Huffpost reader of the merit of my beliefs. But in doing so, I fell into a situation that required checking my considerable ego. I’m not proud of this fact, but it is exactly these moments in my life when I realize that I benefit from looking towards something beyond myself, which I refer to as a metapersonal God. With a capital G. Not a supernatural god, or also not a metapersonal deity. But necessarily metapersonal, and something greater than myself. Here are the details.
When I read that ‘Dan Jighter’, who I sill refer to hereafter as Dan, had identified himself as an “atheist/ignostic”, I erroneously assumed that he had erred in spelling “agnostic.” Feeling ignorantly triumphant by thinking that this vigorous critic of my poorly expressed thoughts had so carelessly blundered, I jumped to learning how to use the English-speaking world’s predominate Wiki-understanding of this term in order to craft a self-congratulatory and patronizing response to his post.
In the course of my numerous exchanges with Dan on this topic, I realized that my love of my own knowledge had prevented me from being as effective in (a) listening to what he was trying to share with me, and (b) sharing my thoughts with him in a respectful and constructive manner. Again, I’m not at all proud of that fact, because I know that I do it far too often for my own good. And the good of others.
With that said, it is my sincere hope that those who have been, currently are, and will be victims of such abuse from me will take the time and effort to help me see the errors of my way. And because Dan persisted in trying to communicate this to me in his own way in this instance, including pointing out my considerable arrogance in these exchanges, I owe him a debt of gratitude. And an apology.
So, thank you, Dan. And I hope that you can forgive me for how I mistreated you in our recent exchanges.
The Tightwire Guy