In his Faculty Corner column (Collegian April 6, 2004), Dr. Brady Phelps identified himself as a “skeptic.” The Phelps ‘sermon’ defined God as merely a construct of the human imagination — cultivated over time from the human experience of living in “small bands,” then “tribes,” then “civilizations.”
If the finer point might be allowed, Phelps’ beliefs, whether they be termed Agnosticism or (functional) Atheism or Secular Humanism, themselves consitute a “religious” view. And in that cause, Phelps is certainly an impassioned preacher in his own right.
The Phelps religion must ask its flock to presume that there is no such thing as ultimate reality or absolute truth. It must also conclude that man’s existence, as a funciton of random, non-rational events, is merely a cosmic “accident”‘ and can have no “higher” meaning than “positive and negative reinforcers” set by the ‘tribe.’
It has been written of another philosopher/atheist of some repute, by a friend who attended him in his dying moments, that “His death was a horror that lay beyond the power of all imaginations.” His name was Voltaire.
If such a titan of the atheist religion faced such a curious end, then what might Phelps say to prepare the converts of his flock, at that inevitable ‘portentous beating of the wings of death angels?’
Bernie Hendricks,Pharmacy InstructorBrookings