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Beridian,
Love, LOVE the way you phrased this response, and the concept is one I'd only thought around the edges of until I read what you wrote. Especially the beginning and the end of it... right on point. However, I think this piece (and this piece alone) as it applies to your argument is not a good one:

what else might they be misguided about? How are we to accept anything that they proclaim? ... a tree cannot bear both good and bad fruit

Regardless of whether the last bit's true agriculturally, I completely disagree with this line of thinking as applied to people. The use of "what else might they be misguided about?" might seem to apply specifically for Catholics as it relates the crusades/witchcraft to the question of whether a supreme being exists at all, but stated as it is (as a generalization) I think it's drastically irresponsible. I see it used in political smear ads by both sides every two years. In fact, I'd contend that if this were the reasoning, then the simple idea that nobody's perfect would have to mean that nobody can ever be trusted about anything. After all, if <insert trusted scientist here> was wrong about what time the bus was going to arrive this morning, "what else could they be wrong about?" It's weak, improper, and out of place.

I appreciate the overall idea that men cannot be trusted on the question of the existence of a god, but being wrong about any specific things, even big things, does not by any means render anyone untrustworthy in all things.

-n8 (sadly, separated from the wagon a little bit today)
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