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Houston, TX Aug. 28, 2001 Dear residents of Dayton, Tenn., I read about your town in the Sept. 2001 National Geographic. It seems as though everybody.

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Presentation on theme: "Houston, TX Aug. 28, 2001 Dear residents of Dayton, Tenn., I read about your town in the Sept. 2001 National Geographic. It seems as though everybody."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Houston, TX Aug. 28, 2001 Dear residents of Dayton, Tenn., I read about your town in the Sept National Geographic. It seems as though everybody there believes in Jesus and Christianity. As a humanist, I see NO evidence of a god, heaven, hell, devils, angels, fairies or a soul that leaves the body. The story of Adam and Eve is a fairy tale. Noah’s Ark is an impossible dream. The “virgin birth” of Jesus by mother Mary is nonsense. The hundreds of religions around the world all believe they have the answer. Religions are nothing but people’s imagination. Men wrote the Bible, not an imaginary god. Humanists believe in nature and science. We know that people and animals and plants evolved over three billion years on planet Earth.

3 We do not look for supernatural answers as to why we have thunder or why it rains or why we have tornados. This is all part of nature and physics. We’re proud of being capable of determining right from wrong by using our brains and not some book translated from ancient Holy scrolls. We do not thank Jesus for good fortune because our intelligence knows he has NOTHING to do with anything going on now. Best regards, Jimmy Dunne President, Humanists of Houston

4 Dear Mr. Dunne: I was disappointed in your letter of August 28 to the people of Dayton. I do not think it accomplished what you intended. Your letter was more of a screed than a creed. People who read it either laughed at what they saw as arrogant pronouncements or clucked their tongues at the patronizing statements. I am enclosing another letter that you are free to use. This better represents your naturalistic worldview and might engender substantive discussion rather than defensive reactions. Best regards, William E. Brown

5 Dear residents of ___________, As a humanist, I rely on the objective facts discovered by science. By the use of the scientific method, I see no proofs for the existence of God, heaven, hell, angels, or a soul that lives on after we die. If such evidence is discovered, I will gladly believe. I believe in people. I work hard to make this world a better place because this is all the existence we have. Because I believe the natural world is all that exists, I do not need to believe there are anything but natural causes for everything that occurs in the world, good or bad. We do not need a God or a holy book to tell us what is right and wrong. Most of morality is self-evident and we just need to use our reason to decide what is right and wrong.

6 It is difficult to believe in the existence of a good and powerful God when the world He supposedly created is filled with evil and disasters. I would assume He would intervene in some way to correct these wrongs. Instead, the world seems to be getting worse. When we look at the thousands of religions in the world, which one is correct? They all have conflicting beliefs about God, scriptures, rituals, and morality. This only adds to the confusion. I hope you will consider the rationale I have given here in your quest for truth. Sincerely yours, Jimmy Dunne President, Humanists of Houston

7 THE WORLD of Worldviews THE WORLD of Worldviews

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12 Is There a God? THE EVIDENCE There is something instead of nothing. There is something instead of nothing. There is order instead of chaos. There is order instead of chaos. There is something different about those humans... There is something different about those humans...

13 More consequences for thought and action follow the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question. - Mortimer J. Adler Great Books of the Western World

14 The Bible assumes God’s existence

15 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... Genesis 1:1 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities... have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

16 The Bible assumes God’s existence Proving the existence of God is not the issue

17 Rejecting God... Major reason (Intellectual) Major reason (Individual) The Problem of Evil Personal Suffering

18 Rejecting God... Dominant Reason The Desire for Autonomy

19 I want to do it my way! I don’t want God to exist!

20 want atheism to be true and am uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. I want atheism to be true and am uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God…I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that… Thomas Nagel Professor of Law and PhilosophyNYU want atheism to be true and am uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. I want atheism to be true and am uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God…I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that… Thomas Nagel Professor of Law and PhilosophyNYU

21 We objected to morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. Aldous Huxley Ends and Means

22 The Bible assumes God’s existence Proving the existence of God is not the issue KEY:The FEAR of the Lord is the beginning of... knowledge... wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10)

23 3 If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2

24 3 If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2

25 THE WORLD of Worldviews THE WORLD of Worldviews

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