Wednesday, March 22, 2006


An Open Response to Ray Shelton

On Monday, The Glendale News Press published a letter to the editor by Mr. Ray Shelton entitled Religion defeats its own purpose which was written in response to a religious community forum in which the paper asked, "What is humanity's greatest threat? (The most common answer was, "hunger.") Mr. Shelton argued that the real answer is "religion" in that neither religion nor a God could supply directives that would then supply the basis of morality. Mr. Shelton links the commands of a potential external consciousness with threats and not morality. The Hobbesian conclusion for Mr. Shelton is that external rules are threats, therefore, the only real morality is the one that is individually and internally perceived and determined.

Michael Novak writes in his recent First Things article entitled "The Truth About Religious Freedom" (March 2006) that, "atheism, however, as (Pope) Benedict points out, may be a position of passionate commitment, but it cannot be a position of reason. No man knows enough about the conditions of existence to know for certain that there is no God." Mr. Shelton claims that it is a "fact that religion is based on a falsehood - the fantasy of a God." It seems to me, and to Mr. Novak, that a more tenable anti-religion position would be one of agnosticism, but Mr. Shelton has put himself in the God-like position of knowing for sure that God does not exist. How odd.

Mr. Shelton also claims that there is a "law of causality" that can only be described as being an external law; what, then, is its primary source? What is the primary source of the laws of physics? More importantly, what is the primary source of the laws of logic that Mr. Shelton assumes supports his argument?

Could the answer possibly be, "God?" I should think so even if he abuses the rules of logic in an attempt to make his case.

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