To the editor:
Nina George’s letter to the editor (Faith-based groups have to respect human rights, Capital News, Feb. 14) is based on the assumption that her particular views—and those of the current federal government—are correct. Throughout our history, societal morals have evolved and changed. Things that were okay or not okay 50 years ago are now considered the reverse. How will we know when we have reached the point of finality on this?
Some might suggest that moral principles are based on a social contract but contracts are typically only binding on those who sign them. Without objective moral principles (principles that are infallible), no one can legitimately criticize anyone else’s values or declare them to be wrong as Ms. George—and Prime Minister Trudeau—have done. There is no way to prove that one ethical set of beliefs is superior to, or more binding, than another unless at some point, an evaluator is asserted to have the final, indisputable last word.
J.L. Mackie, one of the most outspoken atheists of this century, denied that objective moral principles existed but admitted that if one did hold to objective standards of right and wrong, then God was the best explanation for their existence. If there is no God, the only available unquestionable evaluators are people. Who in this nation has the capacity to play that role? To definitively say what is right and wrong and, with integrity, make the statement that one group of people contravenes human rights while another does not? Is there any such infallible person in the world today or who has ever existed?
I personally believe so. I believe His name is Jesus, and I believe He stood up for human rights and women’s rights, and children’s rights more than any other person in history—so much so that He willingly laid down His life to save life. But I don’t hold it against anyone—and certainly don’t begrudge taxpayer funds—just because they happen to disagree with my deeply held beliefs. In Canada today, we are moving to a place where tolerance—and federal funding—are reserved only for those who adhere to a particular set of social views. This smacks of nothing less than a new civil religion and deification of the state. God help us all.
Laurie Bowen, West Kelowna
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