Hello Mr Bloom,
Please excuse my bad English.
Talking about overpopulation: I saw that you were born in 1946, I am one year older than you. In 1945 the world population was 2 340 995 000 and one year later it was 2 370 194 000: an increase of 30 millions people. 50 years later, last year, the increase in the world population was ... 123 millions.
If we're not in an overpopulation state we are going toward it at an exponential speed. I think you ought to have a look at this site. Too bad it is in French but just look at the first page where you see the dramatic increase of 3 people each second: http://www.popexpo.net/Main.html
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Talking about God: I think exactly like Carl Sagan. If 'Someone' lighted the fuse of the Big Bang, as you put it, I am sure that He or It has nothing to do with any of the mythological gods that were created by humans since prehistoric times: Krishna, Shiva, Orisis, Jupiter, Mars, Yahweh, Allah and hundreds of others.
Notice that Yahweh looks absolutely anonymous inside the list. Do you realize that seeing Yahweh as different or superior to other gods is only a point of view? Depending on where one is born on the earth one might have another point of view. There are thousands of these points of view for different faiths. In that matter humans are awfully divided. Although they do not share the same beliefs, what is common to all Humans is that they are born with an **innate need to believe**.
If you had studied biology sufficiently, you would have a better comprehension of the evolution of the universe and a better comprehension of the psychology of the human being. You would understand that this need to believe is a childish instinct that should vanish by itself when one approaches 20 years of age. And it actually does disappear when the individual is free to think by himself and when he or she is not immerged in an overwhelming religious environment like we found most everywhere since the invention of religions.
The present US of A is a talking example. People like Carl Sagan or Paul Kurtz are part of a tiny minority. The majority of Americans are adults living with a childish impulse that they are unable to get rid of. And since they cannot understand what is happening to them, they rush forward instead of backing up and take the time to think over the situation. You're job is to treat adults as children and the fact they call you Father is just a sign. The worst of all is that you are making a living on this and that's more than enough as a reason to justify you're refusing just to think about it. I understand.
What's happening in the US of A nowadays frightens me. The Society is dividing itself over religion at an always-faster rate. I notice more and more intransigence and aggressiveness especially from the so-called "creationists". I see them full of hope in a future all Christian, all creationist USA and I'm afraid of what they'll do when they realize that there are people who refuse to cooperate to their project.
I will stop here by saying that I am an atheist since the age of 22 (about) and that I have lived since then what, I'm sure, you would call a good life. I raised two children who are beautiful adults today and who themselves live a good life. And I don't plan to do any crime for the sole reason that I don't fear any God's wrath. Learning principles of ethics and humanism and realizing that we live in a Society and that this means moral obligations should replace the religious indoctrination and the insignificant and mind-destroying Bible lessons. The states' prisons are full of believers.
Thank's for reading me,
(Pierre operates a website: Évolution ou Création?)
Your English is excellent - an advantage of a bilingual nation. My French is deficient, but I did visit the site you recommended. I was looking to see if it had a curve for projected world population growth. According to UN projections, it will level out sometime this century, then actually begin to decline. You can see it in the areas where you and I live. The QSEP Research Institute for Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population has some interesting projections. The fertility rate is presently below 1.6 in Quebec (basically the same here in Seattle area). You and your wife are above average, but still it takes a rate of 2.1 per woman to maintain a stable population. Of course I have contributed nothing beyond encouraging a few couples to open their hearts to another child. As you can see from the QSEP charts, in 35 years there will be 99.2 deaths for every 63.7 births. You and I will likely be part of the former statistic. I realize right now population is concentrated in the southern part of the province, but maybe with global warming, the value of real estate in the north will skyrocket. :-)
I do have a couple of questions. It's been many years since I studied biology, but I did not realize it demonstrates "need to believe is a childish instinct that should vanish by itself when one approaches 20 years of age." Do your texts teach that?
Did Carl Sagan put forth pure science or a philosophy? Remember his basic creed: "The cosmos is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be." The humility of science could never lead to such a sweeping claim. Sagan was a brillant astronomer who fell into the temptation of using "science" as club to enforce his creed. Of course today that philosophy (naturalism) is the one in which people are immersed in the overwhelming way you ascribe to a "religious environment." Are you surrounded by a religious environment in Quebec? We certainly are not here in Western Washington.
Do Krishna, Shiva, Orisis, Jupiter, Mars, Yahweh and Allah mean the same thing to their adherents? For the ancient Romans, Jupiter and Mars were part of the natural world. Aristotle did not say Zeus was the First Cause Uncaused who created the world and exists apart from it. As far as I can see, the only candidates on the list to "light the fuse" of the Big Bang are Yahweh and Allah. Would you not agree? Of course, Moslems and Christians recognize we worship the same merciful God.
It is interesting that people who write to express an atheist point of view so often want to assure me they are good people who believe in moral principles. But why? After Carl Sagan told us morality was an unnecessary burden imposed on us by the laws of evolution, he turned around and asked us to make personal sacrifices to save the planet, stop pollution, protect endangered species, fund research, etc. He senses something more than what his naturalist philosophy allows him to believe. Don't you, Pierre?
It should not be surprising there are believers in prison. Didn't Jesus say he came for the weak, sick, despised - not the healthy and proud?
I would not expect a non-believer to call me "Father" tho many still do. But then, why respect for any man (doctor, teacher, etc.) if we are all just a temporary arrangement of atoms?
Anyway, Pierre, those are the questions I have. Come down and visit some of our faith-filled communnities. I don't think you would find us as narrow and frightening as the media portrays us.
Fr. Phil Bloom
Cooperation or Domination? (Bible's Teaching on Population & Stewardship)