In response to question #538, you stated that you are not agnostic because you are not stating that you don’t KNOW if God exists, but that the knowledge is unobtainable. I find this difficult to follow.

If the knowledge is unobtainable (which is what I know) then does that not imply that you don’t know if God exists (I don’t)?

The reason I don’t know God exists is BECAUSE the knowledge is unobtainable, and that, from what I’ve been taught, makes me agnostic. Please help me with this!

I am married to a practicing Roman Catholic who believes very strongly that our future children should be raised in the Church. I used to simply call myself an atheist. Then I read Ishmael, and other Daniel Quinn books and found a new vocabulary for what I have felt most of my adult life.

I think it is important for me to have children to pass on what I know about animism. Thanks to Daniel Quinn my view of the world now has words that I can use to teach this view to them. What advice does Daniel have for me for educating my children, while at the same time attending church every Sunday?

I have a question about religion. In Mother Culture it appears that religion and the state have been tied up together since the dawn of civilization. Even though in the United States they claim there is a separation, it appears that many of the state (“state” as in government) laws appear to originate from our deeply held Christian belief system.

Religion’s place in Mother Culture mainly appears to inflict rules of behavior and conduct. My question is regarding indigenous tribal religion. I want to have a better understanding of the purpose religion serves in an indigenous tribal culture.

Are tribal laws and religion one and the same? Or does religion serve only to help them understand their spiritual place in the world? Or is it neither?

On more than one occasion in your books and in your responses to questions you categorically reject the idea of gods, in particular the Abrahamic god. Yet in The Holy Tim, after being prompted by Pablo who “sees” this all the time, finally sees the glory the cactus has to offer him.

Therefore I have two questions. If you do not believe that there is a God or gods in this world, then what or who is Pablo (whom you saw yourself as a young child)? Second, both in The Story of B and in The Holy, you position the Abrahamic god as an opponent of the very world he allegedly created.

Why do you believe that a Satan/Ba’al zebub or an antichrist figure would be so much more in tune with your world vision?

In your response to question 579 you said that closed-minded individuals would most likely change their views as social conditions change because they will feel compelled to “fit in.” However, what if there is a greater motivation to remain a Taker?

Take, for instance, one of the largest groups of Takers, Christians. Christians are compelled to remain Christian and to convert others by the belief that all non-Christians will go to hell. Even further motivation comes from the belief in an imminent doomsday. Also, at a book signing I attended in Atlanta, you said that Christians feel as though they do not belong to this world, and that it is merely a way-station until they can reach heaven.

Taking into consideration all of these factors, why would any practicing Christian feel compelled to give up their belief in Christianity (thus relinquishing the chance to have life in a place they feel they belong to) just so that they can fit in with a world that they themselves don’t even feel they fit in with in the first place? Especially if they think the end is always near.

First of all I would like to say that i am 17 years old and I just read Ishmael for the first time and I thought it was an amazing journey. It has opened my eyes to many different things and I can never thank you enough for what I have learned.

But my question is about your response from question #538 where you say that knowledge of the gods/God is unattainable. Is it unattainable or is it simply that it’s not on our maps? I’m sure it’s attainable, but in your search you just may end up in new territory, and I think that’s something we’re afraid to do.

How are you different from the prophets who tell people how to live thier lives? I know it is not your intention to do so, but I feel like through reading other questions and talking with other Ishmael readers, that your ideas revolutionize the way we think about the world.

In turn, how we live is ultimately shaped by you. Gutting out our system of understanding and replacing it with that of Ishmael changes how we think and live, right?