I recently received a request for contributions from the Catholic Church. How they got my address and why they would think that I'd be interested in contributing to their organization is anyone's guess. So I decided to let them know that they'd reached out to the wrong person. Below is my reply.
July 15, 2014
The Catholic Church Extension Society
PO Box 5929
Chicago IL 60680-9955
Dear Sir or Madam:
Thanks for your recent request for support, but I cannot in good conscience contribute to the Catholic Church
because I disagree with it philosophically. Allow me to explain:
To begin with, I disagree with the Church’s supernaturalist metaphysics – its belief in a world of disembodied
spirits and a life after death along with a heaven and a hell and a creator who presides over it.
The concept of an immaterial spirit who created the material world and rules over it lacks rational and scientific
support. As consciousness is a faculty of living organisms, it presupposes an already existing universe.
For the same reason, when a person’s body dies, his spirit or consciousness dies as well, because in order to exist,
a consciousness needs a functioning brain and sense organs. Death is the end of spiritual as well as physical
Secondly, I disagree with the Church’s epistemology, with the idea that faith rather than reason is a proper method
of acquiring knowledge. The only proper method of gaining knowledge is reason applied to sensory evidence.
Third, I disagree with the Church’s ethics, which stresses selfless service to others and obedience to a set of arbitrary
commandments whose purpose is to satisfy God and gain spiritual admission into heaven after one dies.
Fourth, as communism is the political expression of Christian morality (see Pope Francis’ recent statements), I
disagree with the Church’s view that capitalism is evil.
Finally, I disagree with the Church that personhood begins at conception and that a one-celled organism has a
right to life.
In the initial stage of pregnancy, an embryo -- a zygote -- is a one-celled organism no larger than a millimeter in
diameter. See the following diagram for illustration:
In the linked diagram (half way down the page entitled "Human Zygote Size,") the zygote is the tiny circular object
inside the gray square. Note that it has been enlarged for purposes of illustration. To appreciate its actual size, one
must view it in terms of the properly scaled ruler directly above it. As one can see, it is no bigger than the tip of a lead
pencil! It has no central nervous system, no brain, no blood, no organs, no soul or consciousness and no resemblance
whatsoever to an actual human being.
Although a zygote has the potential to become a human being, a potential human being is not an actual human being
any more than an acorn is an oak tree; or a bud, a flower.
Abortion does not involve killing a human being but simply stopping a process that, if left unchecked, would result in a
human being months later.
For all of these reasons, I cannot support the Catholic Church or its outreach and proselytizing efforts.