THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am very impressed with Peter Espeut's reasoning and presentation, though not agreeing with all of his conclusions! It's refreshing to hear his connecting to critical thought on his own chosen beliefs rather than the arrogant, dead-head reasoning by such-and-such Bible passage.
I may have another perspective to offer from the 'science' side - that religion is a hypothesis versus the definitive theory like, say, of gravity. Theories are ways for us to interpret the world around us, while hypotheses, on the other hand, are plausible but not-yet-rigorously tested explanations to questions.
A theory has already undergone extensive testing by various scientists and is generally accepted as an accurate explanation of an observation. This doesn't mean that the theory is correct; only that current testing has not yet been able to disprove it.
Well, perhaps that hypothesis of God's (or a deity's) existence can be deemed tested if it can be agreed to use a widely accepted secular practice - overwhelming circumstantial evidence. It can be measured and observed that from time immemorial man has looked up to an unseen force in nature.
My own personal issues with religion are around the constructs that man has put up. Having grown up Protestant and experienced Roman Catholicism through marriage obligations, I have returned to the former for comfort. But, really, I may not fit in with any organised church because I do not adhere to all doctrine within any one of them. I do NOT believe that the Bible is inerrant. It's just that I'm sure there is a God.
Hope this is decent food for thought!