Letter to the Editor
A pleasant letter of appreciation from Cyril
Having much enjoyed the pages of the Village Pump over the past few months I felt that I ought to write to say so. Congratulations, therefore, to the various writers for their contributions, both the light-hearted ones and those of a more serious nature. May I make a few comments on points raised in a couple of the latter type of article.
In his October Reader's Letter, Keith wrote of the problem, for many people, of belief in a God who allows evil and suffering in the world. His quotation from Paul Johnson suggests that, given the limited state of Man's knowledge, it is wiser to be agnostic than an out-and-out atheist. The latter has in effect concluded that 'the amount of pain in the world serves no purpose at all; that ...the human race...is a meaningless accident; that life is totally without aim or principle, plan or design or explanation.'
A truly terrible verdict!
This seems to be the conclusion reached by people such as Richard Dawkins in his book, The Blind Watchmaker. If I read him aright, he even suggests that human qualities such as altruism are simply a response to the promptings of our genes. I cannot go along with the idea that we are so hard-wired; I still believe that we possess free-will and are each responsible for our actions. As Keith pointed out in different words, in his letter: much suffering is caused by human actions and we are not entitled to pass on the blame to a higher power (unless, of course, we think a wise Creator should have produced human automatons).
Turning to Ron Watts, he continues to give us interesting articles on all sorts of subjects and these often strike cords with ones own views. In view of the global environmental situation, I must say that Ron's picture of the 'endless and everlasting stream of vehicles (on the M25) rushing like lemmings towards disaster' rang bells for me.
Ron says: '...I would have thought that it was a matter of urgency for the government to be taking some action.' I could not agree more. Instead of planning for extensions of airports in preparation for ever more and more air travel - one of the most polluting of all man's activities - should we not be planning to restrict it? It seems to me that extremely severe measures are needed; but then, I suppose that that would restrict people's choice - for taking us all over the precipice.