Vail Daily letter: Well, I believe
Vail, CO, Colorado
In his letter to the editor Nov. 6, “No gods at all,” Peter Bergh stated that “there is now indisputable evidence that no deity of any kind exists” and proceeded to make unfounded criticisms about world religion without listing any evidence, finishing with the declaration that “we would be wise to discard once and for all religious myths, with roots in the Dark Ages and adopt a unifying, peaceful, worldly focus that perhaps could be referred to as secular humanism.”
As a firm believer in Christianity, here’s my dispute to these central points (though the rest of the letter is completely arguable too).
The Council for Secular Humanism defines secular humanism as a “worldview following the conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith, using critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of inquiry rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.” (www.secularhumanism.org)
This conviction does not directly contradict religion. Religion does not just act with blind “control over the uneducated masses.” It is very possible to be an educated person grounded in faith, taking into account every scientific theory, using reason to put the pieces together.
Many doctors and even scientists are religious. And in order to receive those titles they had to study and research at at top universities. As educated people, they are able to tie scientific methods of inquiry into religion using critical reason. They know of the possibility that God doesn’t exist. (And no, there is no “indisputable evidence” for it.) But they still believe. That is faith.
Philosophy uses reason to identify morality, and in over 2,000 years no philosopher has “indisputably” disproven the existence of God. In fact, many moral philosophers are Christian or accept moral theories that are consistent with Christianity. For example, moral values in the Catholic church are based upon Aristotle’s natural law theory. And Aristotle most obviously wasn’t Christian.
Finally, human secularism doesn’t ask us to “discard once and for all religious ‘myths.’ ” Atheism does.
Religion is not going away. Desperately trying to get people to abandon everything they believe in will not fix anything. We need practical solutions.
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