If you have never experienced the initial, relaxing euphoria that follows two shots of a mature, exquisite Single Malt, you have missed one of the essential pleasures of life, which, for some addicts at least, give it meaning. If you don’t know how to stop after just the two, you know what it is like to be an alcoholic.
If you have never known the quasi-ecstatic joy of a genuine religious experience, you cannot understand why some believers have an unshakeable faith. If you yourself have had such an experience, you may find it difficult to understand why anyone would refuse to believe, or worse, abandon their faith.
There is an unbridgeable gap between believing and not believing. On both sides there are people so convinced of their stance on religious faith, that they find the unfortunates on the other side incomprehensible if not demented. For those over there it is obvious that not only does religion make sense to them, but that life and death would be meaningless without it. Similarly, people on my side of the gap wonder why the others cannot see how unfounded and ridiculous religion is.
Then there are those not too sure of their belief, or of their unbelief. These are the Believers on the Brink, whom both believers and unbelievers would like to convert. I once wasted my time as a former believer become an atheist, trying to get convinced Catholics to recognize the illusions I used to have and they still had. I realize now the pointlessness if not the impossibility of such a project. Full-blown alcoholics can be led to go on the wagon; gung-ho Christians can be brought to recognize the blind folly of their blind faith. But on both sides of the Great Divide, proselytizers would be advised to concentrate their efforts where there is the best chance of success. If dyed-in-the-wool believers bother to browze this blog and find that it creates some minor tremors in their supposedly rock-solid convictions, so much the better. But that would be a collateral benefit, a consummation devoutly to be wished certainly, but icing on the cake. Believers who have already discovered reasons to doubt and disbelieve much of the nonsense, will, I hope, soon reject the whole ball of wax. Meantime I will continue to use my blog as a blowtorch.