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2017年2月17日 星期五

Letter to a Close Friend (給老友的信)


Recently, a very close friend of mine from my university days came back from Canada. He told me that owing to the influence of his wife, he has become a Christian. He had resisted being such for a very long time. His wife belongs to one of those who have from an extremely early age been a very "devout" Christian who took every word in the Bible as the literal "word of God" and who has little ability to think outside of the "box" of "Christianity". I felt sorry for him. Out of concern for his well-being, I wrote him a long letter after he got back to Canada, trying to make him see the light: the light of reason. I won't mention his name.  The following is the edited text of my letter to him, which I think might be useful not just for my dear friend.

People do have to believe in something, For some, it's the Christian God, for the Jews, it's Yahweh, for Muslims
, it's Allah (although all three are in fact exactly the same God, just named and interpreted differently in different cultural contexts) ; and for still others eg. for the Hindus, it's Brahma and for the Buddha, it's the Wisdom of Life; for the Chinese, it's either Confucianism or Taoism and for the more politically minded, it's democracy, Marxism, socialism, communism, communitarianism, anarchism and for Communist China, it's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Dengism ; and for some philosophers, like Plato, Spinoza and Hegel, it's Logos (literally the word of Reason) or Rational Spirit or Mind (“Geist”) .