These two comments were submitted to FreethoughtAlmanac.com. My reply follows—
FROM: Jakub (2/16/13) “O Mr Ronald. Article abort Berlioz catch My attention, but after moment I realized that this article in fact say more about his Author then about Berlioz in fact. Mr Ronald sorry that I must say that, but You are really pathetic and sad. My advice is: always try looking on bright side of life and don’t try saddened of MR GOD. Mr Ronald in fact You are to small to do that and only harm You make by that to yourself. This is really disturbing to watch intelligent people who try to convince themselves when they don’t have right. And about way by which really Free Think can find GOD, try Aristotelian Metaphysics book Lambda (XII). Really good starter. And one last thought. Many peoples go to hell because nobody pray for them, try be not in that list. Best Regards, Free Thinker and Believer”
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FROM: Jakub (2/18/13) “And you see Ronald, you not even Free enough to publish previous commentary. So what with more important matters? On high levels. I give to you some example. Even French Freemasons, which rite is most secular and hostile to Religion, publish My commentary about first of high degrees of French rite with My references to work of St Paul and Blessed John Paul II. How about you? Do you are some kind anti-spiritual Taliban? Don’t feel offend, but when you look for understanding of your sublime agnostic point of view, yet you in your site write many false and offend words about Peoples who Think and Work in different direction than you. Behavior worthy of little boy (specially when many of This Persons are or was very serviceable for world society). And for end one advice. Roman proverb say: Fides Ratio quarens – Faith looking for Reason. Why? Because Faith without Reason is superstition. But also Reason without Faith is only atheism. So looks like you for now are only half human. I wish you personal development. Bye.”
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Thank you for reading my commentary on the religion of French composer Hector Berlioz. I admit that my writing in the Freethought Almanac says much about me as well as about each subject: if I had no opinion to share, along with the facts, why post a blog? Since you do not know me, I am sure you did not presume to give me advice to look on the bright side of life and not be saddened by “Mr. God.” I had hoped my optimism and sunny personality would shine through my words, so I am troubled that you seem to have found evidence that I am “really pathetic and sad.”
Do you realize the contradiction you pose in the first of your two comments (2/16/13)? You suggest that I am too insignificant to write what I write, only harm myself by doing so, and don’t have the right to criticize the concept of God – yet you suggest that I may be going to hell if I keep writing my insignificant opinion! I am certain, if God exists, he is powerful enough to guide me in correct thinking without your help. Consequently, you needn’t to worry that nobody will pray for me: if prayer actually worked, God would already have either answered me or silenced me.
As Shelley and D’Holbach asked, “If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?” On the other hand, could God be a free thinker, himself, and open-minded enough to allow me to share my opinions? Maybe God actually values free inquiry!
It is more than a little presumptuous of you to wish for my “personal development” and more than a little insulting to call my “Behavior worthy of little boy.” But it is amusing that you accuse me of being “some kind anti-spiritual Taliban.” Do you have any evidence that I am using the power of the state to enforce religious orthodoxy? Or do you not understand what the Taliban represent? I just write a blog: it is you who came knocking at my virtual door, demanding that I surrender my right to speak freely.
You mention Aristotle. It may surprise you to learn that I have studied Aristotle to some extent. I even wrote a commentary on the religion of Aristotle, citing respected sources. The blend of Christianity with Aristotle is one of the chief reasons why the advance of European science and philosophy was retarded for nearly one thousand years!
Your assertion in your second comment (2/18/13) that, because others have done so on theirs, I am somehow obligated to publish your comments on my blog, is incomprehensible. I publish you now only because it amuses me to do so and I wish for us to understand each other. But let me be clear: this is my blog and I am entitled to set the terms of participation. You are free to create your own blog.
And I do not apologize if any if my words offend: there is no guarantee under the U.S. Constitution or under the U.N. Charter to live free of offense. If you disagree, you may ignore me or use arguments against me, but not law – not even God's Law. If there is a God, he can defend himself without your help.
Since you bring up the French Freemasons, you should know that I have written about them, as well. I don’t know if you realize that getting published by them is no triumph for a believer: The Roman Catholic Church has censured the Freemasons more than 15 times since 1738!
And, since you seem to be a fan of the late Pope John Paul II, I suppose you are untroubled by his insufficient response to the sexual abuse of children in the Church, his views against the ordination of women and their involvement in Church matters, his opposition to artificial birth control, including the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the spread of poverty caused by overpopulation directly related to church opposition to birth control (so much for being “pro-life”), his support of the Opus Dei prelature, his opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. and the use of charitable social programs to convert Third World populations to Catholicism (which used to be called making “Rice Christians”).
What Pope John Paul II wrote in his on 14 September 1998 encyclical, by the way, was that faith without reason leads to superstition and reason without faith leads to nihilism and relativism. But whatever he said, Karol Wojtyła’s logic is flawed. Reason relies on things observed, that is, evidence. Faith is believing things without evidence – or even in spite of evidence. But accepting ideas without evidence is not a solution to the problems of the world; it is the chief problem of the world! Is this what you are suggesting that I do?
I suppose I should thank you for giving me the opportunity to reply with a bit of the rationale behind my Freethought Almanac. You are welcome to send reasoned comments at any time. But I will not pray for you and I do not wish you a blessed day. That would be presumptuous of me.
Even the “Catholic Encyclopedia” can claim only that "his religion is scarcely more than that of a spiritually-minded pagan."