In as much as Mr. Stephen Masada responded to my letter on Jan. 3 with three “assumptions,” it is important that I respond this one last time.
We all know the popular saying about assuming.
I did not accuse Pastor David Hegg of anything except a sin of omission, by not even mentioning religion as a controlling factor in human history.
Mr. Masada, I can no more “prove” there is no God than you can “prove” there is! Can you “prove” Jesus was resurrected from the dead? Can you prove Mary was a virgin? Can you “prove” Jesus cured a blind man so he could see? No. You “believe” them. And if you do, that is your right. As is it my right not to believe them!
The first written word about Jesus was not written until 35-40 years following his death by people who didn’t even know him personally (www.college.columbia.edu/core). “Written a generation after the death of Jesus (ca. 30 C.E), none of the four gospel writers were eyewitnesses to the ministry of Jesus. Our earliest extant sources of information about Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings remain the letters of the apostle Paul.” Observation: Paul was a gentile who was a self-proclaimed apostle.
Wikipedia: “The belief in this flat Earth was so strong among people that, even though it was established in the third century that the Earth was indeed round, the idea wasn’t widely accepted until around the 15th century. People cannot be blamed, of course, as they were naive and there were no satellite photos to convince them of Earth’s actual shape, so they relied on their observations. Also, science was understandable and accessible only to the elite during that time, which further reduced acceptance of the idea.”
In other words, the average person thought the world was flat.
Finally: Religion does not (today) force people to believe. But if you think it has always been that way then you have your head buried in the sand. During the Inquisition, if you did not believe as you were told to by the church, you could be tortured or put to death! If you were anything but a Christian during the crusades you could be put to death. However, even today, there are those who believe that if you do not believe in Islam, you can and probably will be put to death!
So Mr. Masada, you believe what you need to believe. I’m not criticizing you for your beliefs. So please allow me mine.