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A need to know meanings of the words 'faith', 'evidence' & 'proof'

To The Daily Sun,

The emptiness of the theistic argument is front and center in the title of John Demakowski's latest letter. "Existence of supernatural world is all around: how did we get here?" There is no evidence because the natural world evidences itself, nothing more. Every time we dig, we find more natural explanations, processes and questions. Mr Demakowski's argument is the typical ages old "argument from ignorance"; the God of the Gaps argument. The appeal is, "well, golly, how did the big bang or life happen?". Well, we really don't know, do we? We may never know. But it sure is easy to appeal to people's ignorance with the hubris of pretending revelatory knowledge.

The history of knowledge is a story of an ever-shrinking space within which to say something is an act of God. We used to think thunder and lightning were some expression from the supernatural. Nobody in the sky is angry. The same is true of disease, insanity, pestilence, plague, infertility, famine, drought, crop failure, and mass murdering floods. The Bible is full of ludicrous claims about God using natural disasters to punish people. None of it had to to do with any God and so it may be with the entire universe.

Mr Demakowski claims, "God at His choosing allows His children to see into this supernatural realm through dreams and visions and less often actual experience in it". This was the belief of ancient and medieval times. There isn't any evidence that any of these experiences occurred for any other reason than neurologic ones. MRI brain scans can actually watch these experiences unfold and provide a degree of explanation. As we skeptics, say, its likely all in your head. In the past, we also thought things like voices, visions, and religious dreams originated in the supernatural world. Now we see they are neurologic in origin and if troubling enough can be treated medically. The same goes with some seizure disorders that exhibit blinding lights, temporary blindness, voices, and religious auras.

To say, "Yet the most full proof is the Holy Spirit living in believers' hearts" is absolute nonsense because believing something is not proof of anything. Such a claim is untestable and unverifiable. Mr Demakowski needs to look up the words faith, evidence, and proof in the dictionary. He clearly does not know their fundamental meanings. According to Pew Surveys, 7.5 million people lost their religion since 2012. People aren't buying what people bought in the past. Maybe theists can blame the Internet for breaking open the necessary closed information system of religion. Fully one-third of all Americans under 30 identify religiously as "nones". Two-thirds accept evolution. This is very good news to rationalists.

James Veverka

Tilton

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Public invited to hear Colonel Morrisey speak at LRCC on April 29

To The Daily Sun,
On behalf of Lakes Region Community College and our Arts and Sciences Department, I would like to invite the public to hear our guest speaker, Colonel Donald Morrisey (USAF-Retired).
Don will be speaking in two of my history classes on Wednesday, April 29 about his experiences as a long-range nuclear bomber pilot during the Cold War and as a helicopter pilot in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Conflict.
There will be two presentations. One starts at 9:30 a. m. and the other at 1:00 p. m. The event will be held in Room 200A in the Turner Building at the college.
Besides a long and distinguished career in the United States Air Force, Don served as vice president for Student Affairs for many years at our college. He regularly speaks at our Veterans Appreciation Day events and has talked out his military experiences with my classes on a number of occasions.
The public is invited to hear what will be excellent presentations.

Scott Cracraft
Professor, History and Social Sciences
Lakes Region Community College
Laconia

  • Category: Letters
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