Keep an Open Mind When Discussing God (4/21 LTE)

Some theists "get it" and this letter writer, Jim Spok, really gets it. I wrote a letter to the editor recently arguing that quake victims need money, not prayers and a flurry of responses came in multiple new letters from theists who levied personal attacks, really bad arguments, and actually said that prayer is more important then money.

Today, we got something very different and very hopeful:

Some observations regarding Joseph Gregory’s letter to the editor, “Quake victims deserve God’s love, our prayers” (March 30).

I also consider myself a believer in God, but I am not so close-minded as to assume that Justin Vacula, whose previous letter Mr. Gregory criticizes, is being “irrational and without merit” merely because he draws a different conclusion than we do regarding the existence of God.

Having many friends, relatives and acquaintances who believe in a supreme being, and having some who do not, I could not be intellectually honest with them or myself unless we’re to declare that, based on the same or similar evidence, we can neither conclusively prove or disprove the existence of God.

After 12 years of Catholic school, taught by the good nuns of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and four years of a Catholic college, with the Holy Cross Fathers, I have learned a thing or two about the basic principles of logic and philosophy. You do not call someone with a different opinion a “monkeyman” or “irrational” just because he has the temerity to challenge the beliefs you hold most dear.

Instead, I would recommend you attend a few meetings of the NEPA Freethought Society and engage in an open and respectful discussion with some of the people whose thoughts and ideas you seem to find so frightening.

An honest, decent person who draws the conclusion that there is no God will contribute more to the health and vitality of an open, free and democratic society than a religious fanatic who is sure that everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.