With this post, I introduce what will (hopefully) exist as a monthly series on this blog. Jon Lindgren, professor emeritus of economics at NDSU and former mayor of Fargo, ND, who is a member of the local Red River Freethinkers group, and I have decided to go public with our exchanges online. Now, please note that although it says “atheist” in the headline and title, Jon would tend to prefer “skeptic” or “humanist.” I, of course, will be coming from an Orthodox Christian position. It is who I am and so to claim anything else in this dialogue would be disingenuous. Originally, we had conceived this exchange as something that could occur monthly in the regional newspaper here but we have decided to move forward with this and start posting it here instead. You will notice that we tend to have two different styles of writing, representing two different processes for thinking. I’m sure psychologists could have a field day with that alone! Rather than being a distraction, we hope it will add a layer of depth and interest.
Readers should also note that we are neither scientists nor philosophers. To some, this could be seen as a weakness. We hope it will be seen as a strength. The issues we will discuss are important to humanity and important issues should be taken on (with humility of course) by all serious thinkers and anyone willing to put in the hard work necessary. We also hope that our essays will therefore avoid overly technical terminology and phrases. Readers should also note that our essays are short–400 words each. We did this because we originally had the newspaper in mind. We hope by keeping to this format, we will stay on topic and provide a column that is digestible.
Readers should also note that these essays each derive from at least one conversation prior to their posting. Jon and I are known to chat over coffee and email each other and so when we write an essay, we will have a previous conversation in mind. The point is to try to introduce you to an ongoing conversation. We hope this format will be more reflective and helpful than a tit-fot-tat debate style.
To keep things a bit even, I will rotate which essay is listed first and which one second. For this first post, mine is listed first and Jon’s second and then we alternate thereafter. These two initial essays simply introduce our goals–why it is we are doing this and what we hope to achieve.
So, with no further ado, here is my first essay: Why Do This
And here is Jon’s first essay: Intro