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


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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

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Hope N.H. Senate will realize the damage the House budget will cause

To The Daily Sun,

Members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate:

Here we go again. When will legislators overhaul the state so every two years families do not have to parade before committees to explain why services for family members with developmental disabilities are crucial to daily life, not luxuries?

Shame on the House of Representatives for trying to eviscerate the state.

I hope the Senate realizes the damage the House budget will cause.

Susan Michaelis Gunther

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N.H. tax revenues not growing in pace with economy as a whole

To The Daily Sun,

New Hampshire has a "structural deficit" problem. What is a structural deficit? What does this mean for you and me? And, what does this mean for the great state of New Hampshire?

Structural deficit means that New Hampshire's tax revenue is growing more slowly than the economy as a whole. By "design", our state cannot collect the financial resources to satisfy our needs to be a vibrant healthy state.

The problem we face is not, as the Republican's state, a spending problem. Our problem is a revenue problem — a huge ongoing drop in revenues. The purpose of the state Legislature is to provide for the "common good" of its citizens. The purpose is not to "balance the budget" on inadequate tax revenues. The N.H. Constitution is clear on this point.

Our only broad base tax is the property tax, which pays for about two-thirds of our expenditures. This tax is used mainly for schools, and municipal and county governments. We need another broad base tax. We can't continue to balance the budget on the backs of property owners. Also, taxation should be fair and equally shared by all according to the N.H. Constitution. So, forget tax breaks for the rich. We are all in this together.

Unfortunately, our current Republican Legislature believes that spending is out of control and we "will" live within the current revenue predictions however inadequate they may be. With this philosophy we can expect cuts in mental health, health care in general, child care, care for the elderly, and public safety, ie, state police. Cuts will be made in our infrastructure; roads and bridges will not be maintained. The protection of our environment will be in jeopardy and NH may suffer the consequences of less tourism.

The result for the State of New Hampshire is that we will not attract new businesses, we will lose some existing business, we will lose our youth to colleges and universities out of state with more reasonable tuition; many will never return. For you and me it will be more personal. We will lose vital public services. Safety and security will be jeopardized. Our roads and bridges will become dangerous. Our children will receive a less than adequate education. We may have significant difficulty handling old age because of a loss of services, ie, meals on wheels, etc.

This structural deficit problem will not get better on its own. The state will simply spiral down and become a second class entity with an exodus of those who will find life in another state more secure and tolerable.

For further information read research by Mark Fernald, former N.H. State Senator. And, read the N.H. Constitution.

Tom Dawson

  • Category: Letters
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Cost/benefit analysis? No, green movement wants to crush capitalism

To The Daily Sun,

Dave Pollak believes he has secured the real truth about "man caused global warming". He is so darn cocksure that he repeatedly used the phrase "climate change deniers" in his recent letter to describe those who believe that there is far from a consensus on this complex issue. Don't you just love the mindset of the progressive left? If Dave wants to "deny" he belongs to that "inclusive society of the closed minds", then he might try writing without referencing the Holocaust denier connotation. Seems the nasty left just can't help themselves.

Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder reports, "scientists are in general skeptics and very little of science is ever settled at any one point in time and climate is one of those areas where virtually nothing is settled." He goes on to say, "CO2 is the most important nutrient for life on earth. An increase in CO2 in our atmosphere results in an increase in productivity for plants, trees and food crops". MIT professor Dr. Richard Lindzen reports that while it is possible man has made some small contribution to climate change, it is highly questionable and continues to be debated.

Joe Bastardi, meteorologist and John Coleman, co-founder of the Weather Channel, both believe that, based on satellite data rather than on faulty climate models, man-made global warming is a myth. Bjorn Lomborg, who believes man may have caused some increase in global warming, nevertheless thinks we should focus on a cost/benefit analysis. Unfortunately, that sounds too much like capitalism, which like Communism, the "green movement" wants to crush. So they come up with slogans and repeat them ad nauseum — "the science is settled, the science is settled".

Dr. Roy Spencer and John Christy are admittedly pro fossil and anti-scientific consensus. That is simply because there are no large scale replacements on the horizon. Wind and solar are still way too expensive. Most economists admit that to cut back significantly on fossil fuels right now would cause immense human suffering, perhaps as severely as has Communism. Oh and Dave, the 97 percent scientific consensus is pure nonsense. Like the "science is settled" mantra, it is pure myth no matter how many times you and others repeat it.

Does Dave care that there is a growing concern we are entering a cooling period, which historically can last for hundreds of years? It totally defies common sense to ignore the devastating consequences of cooling should it actually occur in our lifetime, by not having a plan to combat it. It probably does make sense to the left though. There would be no money in it for them.

Well, sadly it does make a lot of sense. The Cornwall Alliance has been warning us that this "green movement" is all about controlling energy production and centralizing power in some sort of world government consortium. Perhaps Lord Moncton can crash the Paris 2015 climate summit and uncover the real reason why many dozens of bureaucratic jet-setters will be sharing fancy spoon victuals and adult beverages while planning on how to control the world. Mikhail Gorbachev and Nikita Khruschev would be envious of this surreptitious attempt at global governance. Communism with an environmental twist you might say.

You see Dave, all this name calling, repeated false slogans and attacks on those who don't think the "science is settled", has a rather scary name — "censorship". Progressive liberal types from the left lay claim to openness, critical thinking and honest debate. But whenever they try it and the facts inevitably don't fall their way, they attack, demean and destroy those who dare to challenge them with truth and common sense.

Russ Wiles

  • Category: Letters
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