TODAY’s example, dear reader, is a letter-to-the-editor that appears in the Sun-Sentinel, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s titled: Takes more faith not to believe in God.
Because this letter is structured as an attempt to present one “logical” argument, we’ll avoid inserting interjections after each howler. It’s one big howler, actually.
We’ll copy the letter in its entirely, omitting only the name and city of its author. Additionally, because today’s letter is so brief, we’re mostly going to take it sentence by sentence. But we’ll be adding Curmudgeonly commentary in between. Here we go:
A fundamental error is being made in believing that either science or religion can answer every question.
We’ve never met a scientist who makes such a claim. It’s almost universal among theologians, however, who say they that have all the answers — although many are incomprehensible to mere mortals. Let’s read on:
Being finite creatures caught in time and space, we will never be able to explain or comprehend the infinite.
We’ve been reading and re-reading that sentence. Stripping out the surplusage about “creatures caught in time and space,” it boils down to this: “The finite can’t explain or comprehend the infinite.” We’re not sure about that. Your Curmudgeon is definitely finite, yet we understand at least the concept of infinity. But why is the letter-writer even raising this issue? Let’s continue and maybe we’ll find out:
Thus, we all must resort to faith. [Italics in the original.]
Ah. There’s a “conclusion” we didn’t see coming. Here’s what we’re getting out of this so far: “We must resort to faith.” The letter-writer could have just said that, without his preliminary mumbo-jumbo jingle about “creatures caught in time and space.”
Okay. He asserts that because we’re finite we must resort to faith. Now what?
But faith in what? There are but two choices.
It’s not like we can’t see a crude setup for a false dichotomy. Let’s look at the only two choices the letter-writer allows us:
The first is faith in an infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing first cause that exists outside of time and space.
He’s bundled up a whole lot of specific attributes for the first of our two choices. That business of existing “outside of time and space” has always struck us as a dubious form of existence. We like the way the Olympian gods had a home on Mt. Olympus. Perhaps the letter-writer can tighten things up a tad — you know — make this first alternative a bit less nebulous. Let’s see:
Some attribute this to intelligent design; others call it God.
Well, that’s it. Okay, what’s our other choice?
Or, secondly, you can attribute everything, matter, time, space, all mathematically conforming laws, life, consciousness and reasoning to … nothing. Yes, nothing.
Huh? That’s our only other choice?
The Big Bang theory proposes that everything arose from absolutely nothing! [Italics in the original.]
A singularity isn’t the same thing as nothing, but let’s not quibble. We’ve now arrived at the end:
As an evolutionist, your faith is multiple times greater than is mine as a creationist.
[Writer’s name and city can be seen in the original.]
So there you are. As a “finite creature caught in time and space,” you have a decision to make. Good luck!
Hey, if you want still more wisdom from this source, we found another letter he wrote to the same paper. It’s here. Hint: he believes in Intelligent Design.
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