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If you order from a bookstore, the U.S.   publisher is The Writers' Collective.   Give the store this number:               ISBN 978-1-59411-015-3


Price: $16.95

Pages: 294, includes full index and learning guides for parents and teachers

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Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems is available by ordering from your local bookstore or by ordering from the major online bookstores.

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Typical social (community    and personal) problems    addressed by TIA:
violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, other addictions, road rage, office rage, bullying, homelessness, teenage rebellion, thrill-seeking and depression, major crime, even illiteracy, high divorce rates and personal problems that lead to neuroses, bankruptcy or emotional breakdowns.

 

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Summer Morning



          Current Commentary

About All Those False Gods Debates

In theater or movies you see either 'I'm religious' or 'I'm an atheist.' I've never seen too much discussion of 'I believe there's a higher power but I'm hesitant to reach out to him because I don't know if I'm worthy of his attention.'
- Zach Braff, American actor, director, screenwriter

You have a right to believe whatever you choose to believe. This is a basic human right that should have nothing to do with whatever anyone else believes. It also should have nothing to do with whatever someone else thinks you should believe or disbelieve.

What you believe (not what you disbelieve) is part of who you are as a person, as a human individual. It's not just a component of your life, it is your life.

This has nothing to do with whether what you believe is true, is provable or is based on faith according to someone else's opinion. Opinions, including what is "true", are debatable when it comes to beliefs.

You and I have probably never met. If I publicly made a claim that you--naming and identifying you by accurate description--do not exist, would you cease to exist? If I claimed that all evidence I can find of your existence is nothing but fiction, is nothing more than stuff somebody made up, would you vanish? Would you feel that you could no longer carry on as a person?

I am going to guess your answer would be No. What's more, you would feel that my opinion has no value because you know you exist. You can feel you. You have experienced being you. I may never see or meet you, but that will not change your opinion about whether or not you exist.

My opinion about whether or not you exist is of no more importance than anyone else's opinion about your belief in God. Or, for that matter, in your belief that there is no such thing as God because you have not experienced God.

I have no right to tell you what you should believe. Nor do you have any right to tell me what I should believe. God, whatever God may or may not be, will not be changed or affected in any way by what either of us believes.

At this point you may be suspicious of my argument. You might say that someone could see, feel and touch you and that should be proof of your existence. No, it is proof only if I agree that it's proof. If I claim that I have no way to see, feel or to touch you, so I deny your existence, the quality and validity of your proof becomes very weak. The "proof" becomes nothing more than opinion.

I have personally experienced what is called a mystical experience. A few times. I can't describe the experience for you because we have no words to explain what is, essentially, unknowable. Some would say I felt God within me. Others--especially those who love to depend on science--would say some nerves in my brain were excited simultaneously, causing me to feel something unusual, but understandable.

So-called atheists who claim that nothing is real unless it can be explained by science would say that I might have had a similar experience using some drug, that the excitement of nerves in the brain is not rare. I would claim that we humans have no way to experience phenomena of any kind and explain it except through our nervous system and our brain. If God acted on me, how else could I experience it except through my nervous system and brain?

If God is real and acts on humans, there can't be any miraculous effect on us. It would have to be in some way we could experience and know, such as through the nervous system and brain.

Over human history there have been hundreds--perhaps thousands--of cultures and religions who claim they have a god. Are they all wrong? Could they possibly all be right, each in its own way, but the explanations are lame because the words available to explain the experiences of the few do not exist?

Confirmed atheists claim to depend on science, on what science can prove or not. Science is not certain even today about what gravity is. It claims that 70% or more of our universe must be made up of what it calls dark matter and dark energy. What is dark matter? Why is dark matter not subject to gravity or visible when light is shone on it? Does science not ask us to "have faith" that dark energy must exist because it is the only way to explain some things today? Faith? That word sounds familiar. Science makes no attempt to explain mystical experiences that thousands of people have had. Why? Because it has nowhere to begin.

It all comes back to your right to believe what you want to believe. No one has the right to tell you that you are wrong. Others may be wrong, but you have no way to know that either.

What all religions have in common with each other and with atheism is that doing good and helping others is the right way to live your life. Don't bother looking for God unless you look within yourself. If you can't find God there, keep looking. By the way, that advice comes from Jesus of Nazareth, it did not originate with me.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's epidemic Social Problems, a book of simple and cheap solutions to our biggest world problems.



Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's                             Epidemic Social Problems

 

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