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Lions Roar : September 2005
1 2 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 such as Jefferson or Lincoln cast asper- sions upon biblical claims, the average church-goers of their era held beliefs no different from today’s fundamentalists, and the list of known skeptics in previous centuries goes suddenly thin, no doubt for fear of live cremation. Harris calls for a spirituality that is rationally accountable for its assertions, in counterpoint to those religious funda- mentalists who threaten to vaporize our lovely planet in a blaze of thermonuclear glory. As Voltaire warned us, “If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.” If so-called moderates do not challenge the aggressive theology of their more radical brethren, their silence becomes collusion. Jonathan Baker New York, NY Sam Harris has fallen into the classic trap of mistaking logic for truth. It is easy to point out, even deride, the logical incon- sistencies in any religious faith. Yet our own logical reasoning is inevitably limit- ed and fallible. Whether or not there is a loving God is a matter of concrete truth—it will not be changed just because my reasoning leads me to one answer or another. It was logic and reason that told us that the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. More omi- nously, it was human reasoning that told us it was appropriate to sterilize the “mentally deficient,” against their will and often without their knowledge, for the eminently “logical” purpose of improving society. Logic and reason are wonderful gifts, and extremely useful. We err, sometimes horrifically, when we confuse these tools for the truth we seek. I invite Mr. Harris to look not only in his head, but also in his heart. Stephen A. McCurdy Davis, CA © Letters to the editor can be sent to: email@example.com or to: Editor, Shambhala Sun, 1660 Hollis St., Suite 603, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1V7 Canada.