Questions About Religion
(Printed in The Daily Review on 7/5/96.)
Editor: In Leslie Bresee's letter (Review, June 30), he gave a brief description of his religious beliefs which included why he prays and his faith in Christ. However, and in all seriousness, I have several more questions.
I assume that when you said that Christ tells you to pray, you mean that these commands are written in the Bible. From my perspective, and with all due respect, why should I accept the validity of a book that claims that the Sun orbits the Earth? This in no way discredits the possibility that Christ did command Christians to pray, but the vehicle certainly is suspect, particularly when you are told to pray for situations that might never get resolved.
If, when you say that you "are told by Christ to pray," that you mean it literally, then I accept that you truly believe that this divine communication has occurred. However, I am in no way obliged to accept this as proof that it actually did occur or that it proves the existence of a deity. If I suddenly proclaimed that I had "seen the light" and that God spoke to me, would you believe it?
Although the problem of evil does not disprove the existence of God, it certainly stretches the boundaries of most definitions of goodness. Objective observations lead me to two possible conclusions: God does not exist and events occur naturally, or God exists and is vindictive. If an Earthly ruler allowed children to starve, would you proclaim him good and then rationalize that he works in mysterious ways?
I disagree with your statement that you doubted a world without evil would convince anyone of God's existence. It would certainly convince me.
I am also confused about your statement, "I believe that Jesus Christ is alive." In all seriousness, do you mean alive like you or me, or is there some other meaning that I don't understand? And if you don't mean literally alive, why say it?
Thanks for any answers and I'll probably have many more questions.
John L. Ferri