Remember the wishy washy religious reply I got to my column on atheism yesterday? Well, after much persuasion from a friend, I decided to play Good Cop. I had a horrendously hard time writing that letter, since…well, I’m not good at being the diplomat. Like my friend said, I’m a firebrand who wrote a diplomatic column and is stuck playing diplomat for a while.

Him: All I’m saying is that you need to use judo instead of boxing
Me: But I like using flamethrowers!

But since I’m temporarily representing all atheists at Purdue, I probably shouldn’t come off as a jackass. Here’s the short reply sent in, with the goal of getting across “O hai thare, you’re kind of a pompous jerk, and you’re not worth my time for a longer letter. kthxbai

Great science comes from theists and non-theists

Josiah Maas (“Claims already have extraordinary proof,” Monday), I agree, the universe is full of extraordinary evidence – evidence that natural processes shape everything from the formation of stars to the diversity of life on earth. Religious people can certainly be great scientists. Don’t insinuate that atheists can’t.

Jennifer McCreight
Senior in the College of Science

But needless to worry. Many other students decided not to play defense:

Don’t assume the weird stuff is God’s work

This letter is in response to Josiah Mass’ letter printed on Monday, “Claims already have extraordinary proof.”

As a fellow science major, I applaud your awe of the universe, but deride your methods. You say there is extraordinary evidence all around us, but if you insist that these claims are proven, you are failing in your task as a scientist. The purpose of science is to discover and learn about the unknown. To take a phenomenon that is presently unexplainable and throw your hands up in defeat and invoke “God” as the answer, you have simply admitted defeat.

Mark Webster
Senior in the College of Science

How is the universe proof of God but not others?

Josiah Maas (letter to the editor, “Claims already have extraordinary proof,” Monday), could you be a little bit more specific about exactly what the evidence for God is? Also, could you explain how it is evidence for God, but not for Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn?

Alex Strinka
Senior in the College of Science

Subjectivity is the essence of understanding

In response to Josiah Maas’s letter, I would, at the outset, like to point out that proof and evidence are not the same thing. Furthermore, the qualifier “extraordinary” is subjective. What evidence you find compelling, someone else might not.

That it makes for an entertaining debate, that much I will agree. But alas! Your letter does in no way contribute to it. The only specific fact you give is what your opinion is regarding certain unmentioned evidence. In a place where ideas are exchanged (like this “Letters” section) specific facts an enriching discussion make, just stating your opinion belongs to opinion polls. And “look around the world” can never be substitute specific facts – it is too vague from the start. Try using that sentence for the next term paper in your science class, and sit back to enjoy the grades.

I read Ms. McCreight’s column. She was not debating whether any religion serves any purpose, or whether God of any kind exists. Her position is certainly implied in the article, but it was not about that. The article was talking about the motivation for a particular society, the kinds of programs they do, etc., a list of specific facts of some sort. The article also gave facts that were not related to the Society of Non-Theists in particular, but were relevant to the topic in general.

Now whether you found these facts interesting or not is subjective, but they certainly brought to the table much to discuss about.

What is there to discuss about your opinion? And what purpose will it serve to exclaim: OMG! You are a sophomore in the College of Science, Josiah.

Pinaki Bhattacharya
Graduate student

Ah, fulfilling to know that my last couple weeks at Purdue will likely be filled with an atheism flame war in the Exponent. Hey, the theist started it!