Religion has its merits

Re: “Religion pointless,” Oct. 21, 2008

This article is a massive over-simplification of the theological debate and it provides no useful, or even insightful, arguments against God’s existence.

Shore writes that agnostics and atheists have realized that there are no logical arguments for the existence of God.

This is completely false.

As an agnostic, I do not believe, nor disbelieve in God however I do acknowledge that there are plenty of logical arguments for God’s existence.

The Cosmological Argument posits that God was the “first cause” creating the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing) which the Big Bang Theory actually supports.

The Design Argument argues that because the universe, Earth, biology etc. are so complex there must be a designer and many modern scientists hold this view.

Divine Command Theory states that there are universal morals required to form a society, such as the prohibition of murder and lying, and because societies from all over the world and from all time periods hold these, there must be an objective, outside influence that gives them this; God.

Other arguments include the Teleological Argument, Pascal’s Wager, the Argument from Religious Experience etc.

Again, I am not arguing that these theories are true I am merely stating that there are logical arguments for the belief in the existence of God and to be as condescending as to quote Karl Marx saying religious people are “moral simpletons” clearly shows the author’s lack of understanding and ineptitude regarding this complex debate.

—Kevin Chabot

It’s pretty clear many religious individuals haven’t given up on intelligently arguing for the existence of God.

Francis Collins was the former head of the Human Genome Project, arguably the most significant scientific achievement of our lifetime, and is also the author of the bestselling novel “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”.  Maybe you should pick it up.

Also, if you study the New Testament you will see Jesus’ teachings focused on love and forgiveness.

They were hardly a blemished depiction of morality. I’m not saying Christians get it perfect.
If Christians actually lived this way churches’ intolerances would disappear, but don’t blame religion for being wrong when it’s just sinners simply screwing up the message.

Lastly, if you know people calling themselves Christians only because they are scared of going to hell- they’re not true Christians.

Being a Christian is based believing Christ lived, died and rose again to forgive our sins, not about getting a “Get out of Hell Free” card.

I make a point to respect the beliefs of others and expect others to do the same. Saying the Bible is “lame” is neither respectful nor an intelligent argument. If you want to argue religion is pointless based on logic, I think you should spend more time researching and actually present your arguments it in an intelligent way.

Generalizations and ignorance don’t accomplish anything.

—Claire Hoover

There are a few problems with this article worth pointing out.

First, the article is appealing to a false doctrine of progress, which assumes that time will naturally produce a more civilized, moral, and superior version of humanity.  

History seems to be proving otherwise. 

It is incredibly presumptuous and unwise to assume that ancient traditions, especially religious ones, cannot teach us anything new and valid about how to be moral.

Second, there is the question of what makes the secular, western enlightenment view of spiritual reality the superior world view that trumps all others? 

In a culture that values the equal opportunity of world views and belief systems, this smells of the same kind of self-righteous arrogance religious people are so often accused of exhibiting.

Lastly, it is time people holding a secular world view admit they are just as exclusive in their beliefs as religious people are. 

The entire point of the article appears to be a call for religious people to ‘convert’ to a secular world view. But I am sure most people in our culture would be hesitant to convert to a way of thinking that leads to labeling any particular group, religious or non-religious, as ‘metaphysical cowards and moral simpletons.’ 

This seems to lack the ‘sense of compassion’ the article is appealing to in order to lead us to a higher moral ground.

This article is not giving me any better reasons to be secular.

—Mark Kitzman

I am a person of faith who happens to adhere to a Catholic profession, and I take issue with last week’s article which deemed religion to be pointless.

While there are problems with Church and religious history, this does not excuse the things stated in the article.

Statements such as people of religious profession are “metaphysical cowards and moral simpletons” show that this article is a flagrant mockery and attack not just on religion, but on religious people themselves.

This is neither responsible journalism nor balanced media.

The arguments he chose to put forth show that he did no real research into the matter, neither did he talk to a single person in the faith community at Laurier.

Also, the author fails to make the distinction between the concepts of religion and faith, which are two very different things.

The last error that I will point out to finish this quickly, is that the author claimed that people of faith have given up on the notion that God and religion hold any intellectual traction.

To this I say that he is most welcome to read the stacks of books I have at home written by modern religious philosophers and intellectuals such as Donald Miller and Ravi Zaccharias.

Thus, the author has committed the same crime he accuses religion and people of faith of having done – ignorance and arrogance.

The author would do well to be more sensitive to the cultural composition of the community that pays for this publication.

—Nathan Thomson and Nicholas Pearson