Letter to the Editor | Jan 2003

FMBR Editorial: Jan, 2003

Letter to the Editor

William C. Gough, Editor

Letter from Clarence A. Mitchell

In regard to your piece entitled "Overcoming Violence," there is no proof of any kind that irrefutably verifies the existence of something called the "soul." Since there is no irrefutable evidence that verifies the existence of something called the "soul", then the "theory" put forth by Ursula M. Anderson is based on nothing.

Mentioning quantum physics, energy, and fields of waves in connection with a nonexistent fantasy called the "soul" is akin to mixing science with religion; and, is totally unacceptable. Science is based on experimentation and proof. Science built this civilization. Religion is based on nothing. By that I mean that the "believers" scorn experimentation and proof of any kind and rely on blind unreasoning faith. Mentioning a nonexistent fantasy known as "god" in with science amounts to exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons.

Electron microscopes, jet planes, space stations and the internet are not built out of crucifixes. Science built all of those fantastic inventions. Of course if science can be misused and abused, so can religion. You can ask Osama Bin Laden about that. He abused both of them at once. It does not take irrelevant religions fantasies to explain the world. The world, the universe is so fantastically complex by itself that no simplifying blind belief is needed. Truth is stranger than fiction. I accept the world exactly as it comes to me without imposing any preconceived notions. I have no beliefs. I doubt, I ask questions, and I challenge.

Sincerely, Clarence A. Mitchell

Comment from William C. Gough

The letter to the editor from Clarence A. Mitchell addresses some very important questions. Each of us has arrived at our current world view through a series of life experiences. My interest and early indoctrination from high school through graduate training was science, as was my career in the physical sciences. I attended Protestant churches services in my childhood, but was never excessively indoctrinated. As an adult I have chosen to explore the wisdom underlying many different religious traditions. Initially for me, science and religion appeared to exist in two separate worlds. Therefore, I can relate quite well to the positions espoused by Clarence. I can remember in my late 20's being asked what I thought about the "soul" and I replied "Well, where is it located in the body and how can we measure it?" A response which created utter frustration in my non-scientific friend.

So what factors influenced the evolution of my personal beliefs on science and the soul, religion and God? I will write about these next month in a response to Clarence. In the meantime I would appreciate your views on the "soul" and Clarence's letter. Mail to FMBR or e-mail billgough@fmbr.org.

William C. Gough,
FMBR Board Chairman, Jan 2003 

Click to see editorial response. 
Click to see the letters of response