Unification News for January, 1997
Notes to an Atheist
This is the second section of a two-part article. This article is based on two on-line discussions I recently enjoyed. I have written it as a "practice letter," addressed to a future friend who happens to be an atheist.
Dear Friend: Let us continue our discussion about the reality of God, and the legitimacy of religion. I have mentioned how Science has been unable to guide either politics or the economy, on any scale. You see, certain matters are "internal" to human nature, and thus, are extremely difficult to quantify.
This will be clearer if we look at our personal lives. Science has tried very hard to understand human nature. Studies of both Mind and Brain have fallen far short of expectations. Science cannot grasp our emotions, much less our dreams. Even though dreams are intimately familiar to all humans, including scientists.
Let me put it to you bluntly. Despite centuries of steady advance, science has not given you piece of mind. It has not gotten you a secure or satisfying relationship. Nor will it, until its vision is greatly expanded. Only religion can do this, with any consistency. If you have found these things in some other way, then congratulations, you have been very lucky.
This leads us to another objection to Faith. One that you personally are too polite to mention. In my native San Francisco, however, they can and do mention it-quite loudly!
Anti-religious people claim that the American colonists were a dour folk, who wore black and never smiled. That the Puritans never had fun, and worse, never allowed others to do so. Free thinkers were, it is claimed, put in the stocks-or burned at the stake.
Historically speaking, this is completely untrue. If such people exist, (then or now) they are few in number-and they need therapy!
Let me spin this another way. The folks who hold it against religion are themselves going about it all wrong. At the extreme, "swingers" are desperately seeking pleasure, but seldom do they achieve it, in any lasting sense.
Look at any modern, "grownup" publication, in pretty much any field of interest. You will find dozens of ads for self-help books, therapy sessions, sex-enhancing techniques, and much more. It seems that a lot of folks are coming up short in the "fun" category.
Research indicates that the faithful, and the long-time married, are far healthier, and more satisfied, than singles or even newlyweds. This includes everything from life expectancy to sexual satisfaction.
My point is: the Puritans are having all the fun!
Let's look at a philosophical objection used by both humanists and liberal believers. I've heard it phrased best by a popular radio host: "Fundamentalists do good because they're afraid of being sent to Hell. Humanists do good because it's the right thing to do." Concluding that humanism is better; a way of life based in reason, not fear.
However, the above quote is wrong on several counts. As I mentioned earlier, God does not condemn you. Your own actions, rooted in your inmost mind and heart, are what blesses or condemns you. Even so, fear is not always bad. It is perfectly legitimate to fear a fall from a lofty cliff-or a spiritual fall into a terribly dark place.
On the other hand, the humanist's "right thing to do" has turned out to be an amazingly flexible concept. Flexible enough to justify all sorts of things, including actions which defy common sense, much less anyone's sense of justice. One need only look at the history of "social engineering" to see this.
The American Founders knew this well. If you have no soul, then what is your value, compared with that of the "whole people," as embodied by the State? The Constitution we all respect is designed to be a restraint on State power. Only God-given rights are beyond the State's reach.
Let's go back to the beginning of our discussion. We wondered if there was, or could be, such a thing as the "supernatural." Take a look at the history of technology. Many invisible forces, in common use today, were unexpected discoveries. For example, X-rays and microwaves were discovered quite by accident.
A famous sci-fi author coined the precept now known as Clarke's Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Perhaps certain "spiritual" phenomena will, in future years, be as routine in our lives as microwaves are today.
Where in the universe are these forces, you ask? Any good Physics textbook will have a scale of "size and force," ranging from the smallest particle to the largest galactic cluster. Near the bottom of the scale is a "particle desert," a vast area unknown to science. (Technically speaking, it's between the Quarks and the Planck Limit.)
That is only one place where these new forces might be found. We already know that, within outer space's Black Holes, the known laws of the universe have broken down. This does not affect us directly-we think.
The latest "Superstring" cosmological theory posits that there are more than the three (or so) physical dimensions we are all familiar with. Eleven or more, though they are said to be "tightly wrapped." Still, this opens up a wide field of speculation.
Perhaps, beyond the four known main forces (gravity, electromagnetism, etc.) there are other, as yet undiscovered ones. Several recent, competing Theories of Consciousness are trying to quantify one of these. This is not goofball stuff; it has been well covered in Scientific American and elsewhere.
What is to come
My dear atheist friend, let me conclude by assuring you that God did design this universe, and that He endowed you and me with an invisible soul. Within it can be found the key to our emotions, as well as our relationships.
Also, there is yet much for science to discover, and more technology that we can develop. Things that are as far beyond today's technology as my little Macintosh computer is beyond a cave man's stone tools.
I think we'll find that, sooner or later, Believers and Scientists are going to end up on the same side of the fence. Then things will really fly! And that's what I would say to my atheist friend. Others of you, wiser
and more learned than I, may wish to write your own letters. In fact, I hope that you will. The Principle contains so many breakthroughs, that all of the "old arguments" will end up seeming dim in comparison. As the book itself says, the symbolic new Sun of truth has already risen!
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