Stephen Maseda | Noble Lies and Logic

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Mr. Ron Perry’s (Dec. 21) reply to Pastor David Hegg’s column of Dec. 15 concerning “Noble Lies” contains a number of assertions that do not withstand even cursory analysis. 

We start from the conclusion that Mr. Perry is a non-believer, I assume an atheist. Based on his beliefs he asserts that religion is a “lie” and that Pastor Hegg failed to list it among the noble lies. A lie is a false statement or assertion that the party making the same knows to be untrue. 

Is that true of religion or Pastor Hegg? Obviously not. The fact that Mr. Perry believes it to be untrue does not make it so, much less establish that Christians, Jews, Muslims or Hindus, to name a few, believe their religion to be a fabrication. I assume that Mr. Perry would agree that Pastor Hegg is a believer in the Bible and Christianity and that he believes that God exists, as did Christ. I also assume that Mr. Perry would agree that Pastor Hegg is not responsible for the misuse of Christianity by others either in antiquity or currently, any more than Mr. Perry is responsible for the conduct of other non-believers. Thus, his premise falls of its own weight.

As for his assertion that the “whole purpose of religion” is to control the people, (sounds awfully Marxian) he is clearly ignoring the fact that Christianity and Judaism cannot, and do not use force to compel conformity to their tenets — only the government can do that, as only the government has the means of coercion. Christianity and Judaism rely on teaching and attempting to guide people into proper conduct, while acknowledging that God gave us free will. In this Christianity or Judaism are different from communism and socialism, which rely on, indeed require, government force. 

I wonder if Mr. Perry is willing to hold a mirror on the action of non-believers in the 20th Century? He asserts that religion has caused more wars and more depravity, deception and lies, all without any support, while ignoring the fact that communism and national socialism killed approximately 100 million people in the 20th Century. To acknowledge that would be to acknowledge the failure of atheism and materialism. 

Perhaps Mr. Perry would agree that our society has hardly gotten better given the turn away from religion and toward the atheistic belief that we can rely on the “rationality” of mankind to guide our actions, all the while ignoring the fact that the actions that Mr. Perry decries continue to occur. 

In his list of wars fought over religion, he lists the Second World War started by Germany with the invasion of Poland, and by Japan with the invasion of China. Their conduct was not the result of religion, it was motivated by what motivates all wars — the desire to gain hegemony over our neighbors.

Finally, he asserts that the Bible was written by men (albeit reporting actual events e.g. the death and resurrection of Christ) who “believed the world was flat.” The fact that the world was round was theorized by Aristotle in the 3rd Century B.C. and it’s circumference calculated with remarkable precision by Eratosthenes, who lived in Alexandria, in approximately 240 B.C., over 200 years before Christ’s birth. The relationship between the Greeks and the early church is also well established.

So in order to make the argument that religion is a lie, Mr. Perry must start with proof, not just a belief, that God does not exist. If he does, he will have accomplished something that no one else has been able to do. In doing so he will be required to refute a great deal of philosophical, logical and scientific evidence that point to the creation of the universe as having an eternal source, beginning with the Greek Nous and the Biblical Word as in John 1:1 — first there was the Word and the Word was God. 

Stephen Maseda

Santa Clarita 

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