Today’s letter-to-the-editor won’t rank among the great ones in our collection. In fact, it’s rather modest. But it’s good in its own way, and we haven’t found anything better this weekend.
Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t use his full name. Well, he’s an officer of his local Republican club, but that’s not a big deal. His first name is Ron, and that’s what we’ll call him. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
There seems to be a deep, abiding fear that religion will take over and make us all mind-numbed robots. Some say it’s better to trust in science.
Is that an unrealistic fear? There once was a time — appropriately called the Dark Ages — when it was so. Many preachers long for a return of those days, when men like them wielded power over their communities. There are parts of the world even today where holy men rule, and hunger to expand their domains. On the other hand, we haven’t seen any sign that science is trying to take over and “make us all mind-numbed robots.” But we sense that Ron doesn’t trust science any more than we trust theocracy. He tells us:
Religion and science are mutually exclusive. One cannot contradict the other. Let’s look at the difference.
Ah, Ron is going to enlighten us. Let’s read on:
Science deals with the here and now. It can be explored, analyzed, documented and explained. It is human-based and subject to human interpretation. It is not constant — what we believe to be true today can change tomorrow. It provides no basis for living a moral life because there are no scientific guidelines for a moral life.
Egad — what a turbulent and immoral thing science is! Ron continues:
Religion, on the other hand, is a belief system. It provides a moral basis for how we are to live our lives.
Oh, how wonderful! Here’s more:
We humans cannot determine what is right or wrong ourselves. What we feel is right today, we may feel is wrong tomorrow. We need a firm foundation which is constant.
Ron is right! How do mere humans know what’s right or wrong? We need help. Ron says:
Religion of any kind provides that consistency. Religion provides a set of moral laws which are not open to interpretation but as human beings we each interpret these moral laws in our own way. Just as with science, these interpretations yield different results but the basics still remain constant and unchanged.
Religion is constant and unchanging. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? This is the rest of Ron’s brief letter:
Science can explain but cannot give you faith, hope and love, but religion can.
Science is bad! It can’t give you faith, hope and love. Hey — neither can indoor plumbing, but we wouldn’t want to be without it.
Addendum: This is quite off-topic, but we can’t add pics to the comments, and this is a photo taken by retiredsciguy, which he calls “Eclipse with sunspots.”
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