Latest LTEs

16 03 2010

I reckon I’ve got no chance of getting these in the papers but I’m trying anyway.  My experience is that you can’t mention ethics and morality in the mainstream papers and I’ve never been able to mention Ayn Rand and get published.  I doubt you can insinuate religious theory is primitive and contradictory.  It’s just not PC.  But I’m hoping there’s a slight chance I can get this in anyway. 

Does anyone know if the Australian or the state papers (The Advertiser here in SA) have guidelines for LTEs? 

This LTE is in response to the discussion generated by Dawkin’s recent visit to Australia. 

Letter 1. 

As an atheist I do admire Dawkins.  However he will never convince the religious to abandon their faith.  Why?  I believe the answer lies in the field of ethics.  All humans inevitably have fundamental philosophical beliefs even if they are not aware of them.  Religion, even though it is based on primitive, contradictory texts, fulfills the human need for moral guidance.  Why do we need morality?  For whom? For what purpose?  Moral principles are required for human beings because we are capable of volition.  We have free will.  Unfortunately Dawkins’ ethical theories are based on vaguely defined concepts such as intuition.  He unconvincingly treats ethics as deriving from evolutionary forces on human behaviour.  A far better approach to ethics is to treat the ultimate standard of morality as being human life itself as in the case of philosophers such as Ayn Rand.  Objective moral principles can be determined by considering the basic requirements for human life. 

Letter 2.

In response to religious apologists who seem to think atheists necessarily have “faith” in their rejection of God, I ask does belief really boil down to faith?  Do you have faith that you need to eat food in order to survive or that 2+2=4 for example?  The answer to this conundrum is the law of identity, A = A.  Everything that exists has a specific nature.  eg/ A human can never grow wings and fly.  It’s impossible.  Similarly, we know that the qualities attributed to God such as omniscience, omnipresence, miraculous powers, infinite lifespan are impossible.  The claim that God exists is not only an empty assertion unbacked by physical evidence, it contradicts everything we know about reality. 

Update 22/3/10

My second letter was printed virtually word for word in the Advertiser!

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