Statement of Faith

By Fredrik Bendz

"I believe in the religion of reason -- the gospel of this world; in the development of the mind, in the accumulation of intellectual wealth, to the end that man may free himself from superstitious fear, to the end that he may take advantage of the forces of nature to feed and clothe the world."
-- Robert Ingersoll (Why Am I an Agnostic?, North American Review, December, 1889)

These are my thoughts about our origin and our destiny.

I believe in reason. By this I mean that everything that can be investigated by reason should be examined with our minds as far as possible. I care about what is true, and anybody who's concerned about the truth should desire knowledge through reason. I think that it is undesireable to believe that which is not true or what is not founded upon reason.

What I know are those facts which are irrefutable - i.e. absurd to doubt. What I believe is that which seems most likely from the facts. What I do not believe is that which I know is false or that which there is no rational reason to believe.

I believe in doubt; I have faith in doubt. It is only throught doubt - not blindfolded belief - that freedom and knowledge are produced. It is only by first questioning what is that things can be differently - only by questioning the present political system freedom can be gained; and only by questioning the present knowledge new knowledge can be found. If there is an answer a question can be raised, but only if a question is raised the answer can be found.

I believe that everything in this world is natural. To say that something is supernatural is a contradiction in terms. There may exist things that we yet do not know about, or which are unknowable, but they would all be natural, albeit paranormal.

I believe that this universe was created in a "Big Bang" about 10-25 billion years ago. What caused the Big Bang I do not know.

I believe that man is the product of an evolutionary process which started instantly at the Big Bang when energy spontaneously started to aggregate into objects such as atoms and molecules. I believe that this evolution caused the spontaneous generation of life on the planet Earth about 3-5 billion years ago and that this was the onset of biological evolution. I believe that man is the product of this evolutionary process.

I believe that there is life on other planets. I cannot see why the same process that caused life on this planet would not cause life in other places in our vast Universe. However, I do not believe that intelligent extraterrestial life has ever set its foot on planet Earth.

I believe in life before death. This is the only life I know anything about. I do not believe in life after death because it seems very unlikely that my mind will continue to exist when my brain dies.

I believe in man. Whether we like it or not, we are responsible for the destiny of this world. We can treat it wisely, or unwisely and my hopes is that we will do the best of our reasonable abilities. I do not know if this will happen, but it is all we can hope for. No one will save us except ourselves - together.

I believe in love. Love to guide reason; love to act in the best interest not only of oneself but also in the interest of others. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself is a guiding rule of highest nobility and importance.

I think that everybody should have the right to the maximum amount of freedom which is compatible with the same freedom for everybody else. I believe that everyone is entitled to say, do or believe anything they want as long as it does not prevent others from doing the same. I think I should have the right to question and argue against the beliefs of other people and I think you should have an equal right to argue against my beliefs.

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File created November 30, 1997
Last update: Sunday, October 10, 1999

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