I want to clear something up - the wwgha website says that you can "Contact us" and if there is not enough time to get back to an individual question, it may be posted to the forum instead. So, I did, assuming (always a mistake, I admit!) that the standard was a personal response, and the back-up was post-to-a-forum. So, long story short, I didn't particularly intend to begin a thread that would require daily check-ins. When I realized a thread had been started, I began to participate. I should have said at the outset that I am not going to be able to keep up on this through daily check-ins.
A daily visit and daily reply is not required. The forum is designed for visiting when you can or desire.
From the beginning, though, I checked "yes" to the option that allows persons to email me individually and I would be happy to exchange emails with you personally. That said, I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you.
Many of us have read many things on various reading lists. Those of us who are atheists come to the same conclusion regardless of what we read.
I came to the faith through reason and research (And yes, included looking into other faiths & systems of belief. My undergraduate degree was in Anthropology; so research, particularly regarding systems of belief, is something I value quite a bit.), but that doesn't mean that you came to atheism in the same way. And, just as all Catholics are not the same, all atheists are not the same; this is, of course, because all people are not the same.
As a person who has studied anthropology, I find it more amazing that you believe in any god. But as you say, all people are not the same.
Many of us have experienced various religions and/or various denominations of particular religions. I have attended services for Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches. I have read various materials issued by these respective denominations. For me, regardless of the denomination, the basic theme is that there is an all-powerful god who created everything. I see no evidence for such an entity, regardless of the variations (minor) in how the god is defined. Once I concluded that a god as defined cannot exist, then reading additional materials from a particular religion will not alter my conclusion.
My assumption that some research or reading had taken place was based on WWGHA itself, which talks about Jesus, the Bible, etc. The reason I asked the question in the first place (again, intending it to go to an individual) was because so many of the things in WWGHA indicate that the writer(s) did research about Christianity, but missed what a basic Freshman/Sophomore-level course in Western Humanities would consider significant works. In other words, I'm not asking whether s/he read every work on Catholicism (the Courtier's Reply); I'm trying to get to the bottom of what was read in order to conclude WWGHA's conclusions.
I cannot verify the exact books the author read before he wrote the WWGHA book. The entire point of the WWGHA book is that these readings or investments in Western Humanities are irrelevant, at least with respect to the existence of a god. The book demonstrates the methods of reasoning used in the conclusions reached by the author. It is a book more about philosophy, specifically, than the broader subject of humanities. Additionally, and most importantly, the book relies on proof, reasoning and rationality, inasmuch as any scientific exercise would require. The only difference is that since god is not an entity in which one can interact in a defined and definitive way, the end result is that the dependence on a god is not a reliable or rational dependence. The god described has abandoned his children.
(And, after the thread was posted, to find out what readers'/contributors' research has entailed, since WWGHA doesn't seem to have a specific spokesperson to describe what was read about Christianity in order to come to the conclusions drawn in WWGHA itself.)
While I can appreciate that you were wanting contact from a particular person who could answer your question(s), one person cannot spend his days replying to hundreds of queries each week. Well, he could but he would slowly go insane. The responses one person may provide would likely depend on boilerplate texts in order to effectively reply on a timely basis. The book itself is that reply.
It appears to me that you accept the premise of a god as defined by Catholicism. Given that you accept this premise, you can argue about how one interprets such a god, or the supposed writings of such a god (inspired or not), or the moral and ethical quandaries about how such writings apply to our daily lives. You can argue that Catholicism is better than Methodism or Buddhism or whatever religion you like.
The WWGHA book rejects the initial premise of a god as defined because it demonstrates in various ways that the god cannot exist. The god does not participate in or affect our daily lives, individually or collectively. I came to the same conclusion long ago. So, to discuss what particular writings support the positions of a particular religion, or to demonstrate the commonly-held beliefs, morals or actions of the general membership of a particular religion, is like rearranging chairs on a ship that is going down.
It is an amazing moment when one realizes that there cannot be a god.
Presumably, if someone were going around saying things like “your mother’s a whore,” or “your father is a greedy, lying son-of-a…”, or “You have no sense of reason, intelligence, or the capacity to use your eyeballs and review evidence,” you would at the very least ask him/her: “Where are you getting your information?”
I haven't read every response in this thread to know if our members have responded with the quotes you have made above. As you stated, we are all not the same. Some of us have better debate skills, social skills or diplomatic skills than others. While this is not a tit-for-tat situation, nor a justification for such, some responses you receive may be a reflection of the responses we as atheists often receive when we visit other religious forums (primarily Christian forums).
Here, the predominant theme is that we use our own intellect, reasoning and integrity to conclude whether a god may exist or not. We do not rely on the specific writings of anyone about atheism or religion. The more information we consume, on either side of the issue, the more likely that information will reinforce our conclusion. In fact, it is obvious to us that most people make their conclusions about the positive existence of god with less and less information. Ignorance is bliss.
Again, if this WWGHA were a website refuting the Muslim God, or Hindu gods, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ask such a question.
The WWGHA also refutes the Muslim "god" or the Hindu "gods" or the Jewish "god" or any other god you would like to describe. The book was written by a person who lives in a predominantly Christian country (the USA) and a predominantly Christian state (in the South). Ergo, his audience for the book was the Christians who surrounded him. Replacing the words Christian, Catholic, god, or Jesus for other words aligning with other religions is merely an abstraction with the same result.
WWGHA focuses on Jesus and Christianity, so I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.
If you read the WWGHA book and only conclude that the book refutes only fundamentalist Christianity, l have to question your critical thinking skills. The reasoning and conclusions in the book are quite easily abstracted to Catholicism with no real mental effort. Catholicism has an all-powerful God who came to the earth in flesh and blood as Jesus. This is the same in every Christian religion. Everything else is just window dressing.
Being that I am, like you, a person, and therefore have a husband and dinner and all those good things to attend to, I must stop here for now. I will check in again soon, and thank you again for reading…
I am also quite busy, so I visit every 4-5 days, sometimes every 10-14 days. I do appreciate you visiting the forum and taking time to reply to us. If you received negative responses, I hope you will continue to visit and reply to the members who are engaging to you.