Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Belief Does Not Have To Be Blind (Editor Pt. 2)

Here is the letter I sent in in response to this post. (They haven't printed this or the other one. :-( I hope you enjoy.

Dear Editor,

RE: Belief Creates Reality, not the Other Way Around

This letter is to address several problems seen in a recent letter to the editor by Mike O’Neil.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is that Mr. O’Neil writes, “There might be dozens or billions of other explanations of life, any one of which might be more valid.” There might be hundreds of fairies that mess up my hair at night, but it does not mean it is reasonable to think that is the truth. He seems to simply assert his opinion without giving good reasons why we should take him seriously. His view is nonsensical, unlivable and inconsistent with the way the world is. Not how we believe it is, how it is.
For example, he suggests that “What you believe is real, is real.” This would seem acceptable if we are talking motivationally. However, just because I believe something to be so, does not mean it is. Mr. O’Neil can believe that the bus coming down the street is not real, but I would bet that he looks both ways before he crosses Reality Lane. If reality is what I make it in my mind, I would not live a day. It is because hot things burn, and cyanide is not the same as water (even if they look like it) that I can and must accept reality as it is that saves my life.
One other comment that caught my eye was when Mr. O’Neil concludes “there are no absolutes; what is true for one person isn't for another and nobody knows anything for certain or if they do it can change. Two points: 1)Is he absolutely sure there are no absolutes (his statement commits suicide-like if I write “I can’t write a word of English”)? And 2)Just because our views may be different does not mean that we cannot know the truth (there were differing views of whether the earth was round or flat- Mr. O’Neil would have us believe that neither is true nor could we be pretty certain that it is not flat-I wonder if this principle could be applied to religious truth as well).
Ideas have consequences. Some ideas are better than others. There is nothing intolerant about this concept. It is a better idea that you look both ways instead of thinking reality is something it may not be. If reality is not really real, you would have died already. If he makes the absolute statement that there are no absolutes, his absolute statement is also false. By the way, if all views are equal no absolutes-can’t know things), why should we think his view is better than any other. Why should I think Mr. O’Neil knows this for certain? Some ideas are better than others. Reality is not always what you believe it is. Even if you do not believe me, please look both ways before crossing the street.

Derrick Bright

1 comment:

delete said...

Outstanding, Derrick--clear, to the point, with a great, pithy ending. Keep swinging!