The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

March 14, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Friday, March 14, 2013

The only gods are the gods we could become

Reason is a muscle many of us rarely exercise. The world is neither good nor bad. Should we love our brothers and sisters? Why? Is it because the Bible tells us to; is it because things are more pleasant when we all just get along together? Is it to make us feel more secure with friendly, non-aggressive, like-minded people around? Is it genes?

The older we get the more insecure and uncertain of life we get: Not having the vigor and physical attributes we had when young makes us seek law and order, a time — any time — in our past in which we had a “golden age” of contentment; a time when everything seemed to go our way. With old age, must we beg for the solace of peace and not dread being robbed or have a home invasion?

Do we all become old maids, lacking the inner strength — less long the outer! — to be bold adventurers and lively eaters of a good life? Fear until the end? Such a belief makes me weep. Life is a farce if this is all it leads to.

Enough! Here is my answer to Pastor Lester who declared that a Society of atheists would be one without morals, meaning, and contentment. Ah! My lungs are on fire, my temples roar! In this sunlight my limbs feel just as warm as yours. Heart beats like yours, limbs move, I crave things just like you. In short, any decent, civilized society needs to follow the Golden Rule (which existed thousands of years before Christianity came upon the scene). No religion has a monopoly on happiness.

Democracy must still rule people in any situation: Only I would place the best minds before us to help us make decisions affecting us all. The “facts” that science provides and the acquiring of more knowledge should be man’s objective. And when a superstition is slain, let it lie dead (do not attempt to revive the dead and the false and useless). Science has stated that the supernatural does not exist. Start a world on that foundation; otherwise, we start with weak, tottering stones. Don’t lie to ourselves.

So let reason be your castle, your Savior, your willow wood! Evenings, mornings, nights, days ... ecstasy, nightmare, and sleep in a bed of noble goals and ambitions! Aim for the stars, conquer the virus and bacteria, remake man and the cosmos to our liking. You say, this is too much ego, too much pride? To the contrary: I say it’s a beginning. For the only gods are the gods we could become; the only heaven or hell we do create.

Lonnie Bailey

Pineville

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