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Thursday, July 6, 2017

(1) "WE BELIEVE IN REASON RATHER THAN BLIND FAITH."

July 31, 2011    
       Watching TV early today, I relished a quotation from H.L. Mencken to the point of letting Sunday Morning carry on without me,   Like a book one can't put down, this was a screen I could not turn off.
       "The men that American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest the most violently are those who try to tell them the truth."
      I wanted to highlight every Mencken quotation and to add women to this equation. An egg-beater in the back of my mind stirred up my own beliefs regarding religion.
      Years ago I dubbed myself an agnostic, doubtful that a caring Goddess existed but not being so bold as to declare there was no such divinity.  "But who made God?" asked Timmy with ten-year-old temerity back in 1956. Well, no one, Timmy, God just is.
      So why can't it be true that our solar system big-bangingly just is, I ask now. And why can't it be true that the evolution of man/woman from he/apes and she/apes just is, with no divine intervention necessary?
      I particularly related to Mencken's conviction that there was neither something to look forward to nor something to fear at life's end.  He would just vanish, as I will, rejoicing with my last breath (if I still have a functioning brain with which to rejoice) that I was lucky enough to catch the golden ring in humanity's hugest lottery, miraculous conception.  Why should nothingness hereafter be feared any more than the nothingness that existed for each of us before we were conceived?
      I recently subscribed to a bi-monthly magazine called Free Inquiry; Paul Kurtz is editor-in-chief, proponent of secular humanism. A statement of principles has this affirmation:
      "We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality."
     Makes sense to me, Mr. Kurtz.

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