The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

December 10, 2013

Your View: Interpretation of experiences

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Esther Cepeda’s column Nov. 26 pointed out that reading is an important skill that must be acquired even though it might not be fun.

This is an instance of an important principle: Life is not meant to be easy. Read the biographies of people who have accomplished things, from Carol Burnett to Albert Einstein. You will find struggle. I noticed this as I was looking for the secret to success. The invariant principle in all instances was endless labor. I have spent a great deal of labor trying to evade this principle (my father would vouch for this), but it is always there.

We find terrible miseries and horrors in this world. Bad things happen to good people. The elements of Earth were formed in the dynamic life and explosive death of stars. The clash of forces generates activity. People are often harmed from these clashes, but without them there is stagnation and death.

Consider someone born to health and wealth. The fortunate ones set themselves challenges that they struggle to achieve. They have lives of satisfaction. There is something in our nature that requires struggle. The unfortunate ones live in a state of boredom or drift into excesses that give them lives of misery.

The existence of pain and misery in the world is a common argument for atheism. This argument assumes a particular definition of God. The fact is that this universe is inherently unknowable to us, and this includes the nature and purposes of the deity. We fumble around in the dark, trying to make sense of our experiences. For a judge to require that schools teach a myopic view of reality is to assume an understanding beyond the capacity of humanity. Deciding whether or not there is an intelligent design is based upon an interpretation of our experiences.

Donald E. Corder

Baxter Springs, Kan.

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