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Letters to the Editor

Honest belief

March 11, 2011

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To the editor:

“Honest, respectable belief starts with evidence and moves gradually to conviction, regardless of preference and ‘feeling.’ Irrationality begins with emotional intuition, cherry-picking evidence to suit.” (“Pitts’ hypocrisy,” Public Forum, March 4).

“Perhaps no one has yet been truthful enough about what ‘truthfulness’ is.” (Nietzsche)

“The existentialist … thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values … disappears along with Him.” (Sartre)

“In some remote corner of the sprawling universe … there was once a star on which some clever animals invented knowledge. It was the most arrogant, mendacious minute in ‘world history,’ but it was only a minute. After nature caught its breath a little, the star froze, and the clever animals had to die. — One could invent a fable like this and still not have illustrated sufficiently how miserable, how shadowy and fleeting, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect appears in nature.” (Nietzsche)

Apart from God there is no knowledge, hope, meaning, and morality. We exist, period. If you don’t believe in God, then be honest with where that leaves you. The atheist has no way to obtain knowledge and so all s/he claims to know is cherry-picking of unknowable evidence.

But if there is a God then it is quite rational to have knowledge and morality. Mr. Burkhead declared that God exists and gives His standards. Regardless of how others have cherry-picked their beliefs by their own preferences, God exists and judges. People can suppress that knowledge, but the only honest, respectable belief in this world is belief in God.

Comments

Jimo 3 years, 6 months ago

I wonder what God's explanation for the tsunami in Japan is.

A wet god comes home, Cascading water stirs, This death under the waves.

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 6 months ago

Not everything on earth is what we want or decree; But Everything on earth is what God has decreed.

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Olympics 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm 8% dumber for reading this.

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4getabouit 3 years, 6 months ago

"God is dead." Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." God

"God is Nietzsche." Dead

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nouseforaname 3 years, 6 months ago

Good job in taking both Nietzsche and Sartre COMPLETELY out of context. But this is commonplace for Christians that like to pick-and-choose which parts of the Bible they want to follow. It only makes sense that do that for every other book out there.

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Haiku 3 years, 6 months ago

I pick morals too. I shun pedophile priests and endorse gay rights.

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VoijaRisa 3 years, 6 months ago

I think this writer forgot how to make an argument. The quotes should support the point; not be irrelevant to it. Richard doesn't ever support the claim that without God, there is no morality or way to obtain knowledge. It's a ludicrous claim, but one I hear quite frequently from self-righteous theists.

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Haiku 3 years, 6 months ago

From those that brought you the Spanish Inquisition: advice on morals!

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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aveteran 3 years, 6 months ago

We're not lost; you're the one believing in fairy tales.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

All I did in my removed post was ask why 75x55 was he wasting his time here on this terrible earth when he could be with his god in heaven.

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Liberty275 3 years, 6 months ago

"Apart from God there is no knowledge, hope, meaning, and morality."

There is no god, so I guess we'll just have to live between our synapses.

Also, thanks for the Nietzsche. Post some more tomorrow.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

"Apart from God there is no knowledge, hope, meaning, and morality."

This is simply and demonstrably false. Study after study have shown that believers are no more or less honest or moral than atheists (unless morality is defined as believing in and obeying the word of a god). One only need look to the abuses and crimes committed by the clergy of all religions and by the followers of all religions.

The fact that belief in god is irrelevant to human hope, meaning, morality and knowledge indicates that these things likely pre-dated belief in god.

Humans invented god to explain these feelings of hope, meaning, morality, and knowledge that they already had, to codify them.

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Kirk Larson 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually, non-believers are more moral than believers. Believers are good because they believe they will be punished if they are bad. This is the same level of morality as a well trained dog that knows it will be punished if it poops on the carpet. Non-believers are good because they understand that proper social behavior is necessary for society to function, that it's the right thing to do.

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Kirk Larson 3 years, 6 months ago

Mainly I was presenting a counter argument to the rather nonsensical notion that people who don't believe in god can not have a sense of morality. I think it is more likely the opposite since true morality comes from making a rational decision to be a moral person, not from obeying some mystical dogma.

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Grant_Runyun 3 years, 6 months ago

This is satire. A Christian quoting Nietsche and Sartre as arguments for the belief in god, while denouncing cherry-picking evidence to support a personal world-view? Ya'll got trolled.

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree that it's hilarious. but I really think the letter writer actually believes this crap. so my laughter slowly turns into uncontrollable sobs as I think about the ignorant world in which Nietzsche can be used as an argument for god(s).

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Grant_Runyun 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe I'm the guilty one because I just really want to believe a person could not be OK with that level of cognitive dissonance.

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weeslicket 3 years, 6 months ago

you also can't Polish a turd.

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 6 months ago

sigh.....

The atheist has the freedom to question and think without being disowned by his peers.

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jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

What if he starts believing in God?

And, there are more liberal congregations, in various religions, that also encourage thinking and questioning.

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Orwell 3 years, 6 months ago

Is there any greater waste of newsprint than letters arguing about religion?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

The funny thing is that, when pressed, most believers are forced to attack the very existence of knowledge and truth and objective reality in defense of their belief.

In essence, a belief in god drives one to nihilism and relativism.

Thus the Nietzsche and Sartre quotes in this letter.

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barlowtl 3 years, 6 months ago

How many would embrace the belief in God but just can't get past his fan club.

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Liberty275 3 years, 6 months ago

None. If a person is trivial enough to deny the existence of god because he doesn't like what other people do, he will never have the courage nor the intellect to actually embrace atheism. At best he will be a fence-sitting agnostic, which is the most contemptible of the lot.

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kgrimes 3 years, 6 months ago

At best he will be a fence-sitting agnostic, which is the most contemptible of the lot.

Why the hostilities towards agnostics? As an atheist, I hardly care whether anyone else has a belief or not, just so long as they keep it the heck away from me. Agnostics, I notice, tend to not preach. Atheists and people of belief are the ones I see preaching, and therefore the more contemptible.

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Kirk Larson 3 years, 6 months ago

As an agnostic myself, I would argue my position is the most intellectually honest; I mean, we can't really know until this earthly experiment is over, can we? Whether or not there is a god, I believe that all religions were created by men. And even if there is a god I think s/he wants us to ACT like atheists, i.e. develop our morality through rationality, make life better for the people around us, find wonder in discovering the truth about the REAL world.

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Kendall Simmons 3 years, 6 months ago

We can't really even be sure we'll know then...because, if there's no afterlife, we're just dead and so will never know we were right.

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weeslicket 3 years, 6 months ago

thank you for all the commentary.

posit. if one assumes there an "invisible hand" (deism), then one usually arrives at the conclusion that: "Apart from God there is no knowledge, hope, meaning, and morality.... But if there is a God then it is quite rational to have knowledge and morality." or something of the sort.

if one does not assume that there is a "great architect" (also deism), then one usually arrives at the conclusion that: "... knowledge, hope, meaning, and morality are created by us.... (And so).... it is quite rational to have knowledge and morality." or something of this sort.

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Rich Noever 3 years, 6 months ago

You can't afford that additional 8%!

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