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3/7/06

Mind Shadows Home      Atheism & Morality

In Voltaire's 18th Century novel, Candide, Cunégund has this wretched story to tell. "I was in bed, and fast asleep, when it pleased Heaven to send the Bulgarians to our delightful castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh, where they murdered my father and brother, and cut my mother in pieces. A tall Bulgarian soldier, six feet high, perceiving that I had fainted away at this sight, attempted to ravish me; the operation brought me to my senses. I cried, I struggled, I bit, I scratched, I would have torn the tall Bulgarian's eyes out, not knowing that what had happened at my father's castle was a customary thing. The brutal soldier, enraged at my resistance, gave me a wound in my left leg with his hanger, the mark of which I still carry." Despite the horrors he encounters, Candide's mentor, Dr. Pangloss, continues to insist that this is the best of all possible worlds.

World population is now 6 billion people. In it, the laws of probability prevail. Somewhere, in the next few hours or days, a man will abduct a little girl. He will rape, torture, and kill her. Despite statistics, the child's parents right now do not believe in a roll of the dice, so to speak. Rather, they believe in an all-powerful, good, and loving God. Sam Harris has something to say about this. More

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