Friday letters: A peaceful approach to life

08/29/2014 2:27 AM

08/29/2014 2:28 AM

I found Kirk Patterson’s Aug. 18 letter (“Don’t reason with atheists”) extremely puzzling. Atheists or agnostics are not necessarily evil people, just as some theists (those who believe in God) are not as ethical as we would like to believe.

Humanists neither deny nor accept the existence of a God and are not against those who worship God. Humanism stresses the value and goodness of human beings, emphasizes common human needs and seeks solely rational ways of solving human problems. Humanism embraces a human-centered philosophy that celebrates one’s culture without supernatural underpinnings.

Humanists value their cultural identity and the aspects of that culture that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. They believe in the human capacity to create a better world, in which God is neither condemned nor loved. John Lennon expressed this beautifully in “Imagine”:

“Imagine there’s no heaven\ it’s easy if you try\ No hell below us\ Above us only sky.”

“Imagine there’s no countries\ It isn’t hard to do\ Nothing to kill or die for\ And no religion, too.”

No heaven, no hell, no countries, nothing to kill or die for — who can argue that this is not a peaceful approach to a fulfilling life?

Jerry Jewler

Columbia

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