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I
am saddened but not surprised at Barrett Balvanz’s June 1 letter, “Reality of life without a god” — concerning the controversy surrounding Peter Singer’s May 19 article. What saddens me is Balvanz’s indiscriminating response to what he calls the “backlash” of letters provoked by the article. He sees them “at a loss for logical argument,” “resigned to attacking Singer’s character” and “making completely irrelevant claims.”

That is not what I read in those letters, which I found on the whole very reasonable. But from his viewpoint I am disqualified from expressing such an opinion as I am a believer and therefore prejudiced in favor of those letters. May I remind Balvanz and Singer of the Biblical Book of Job, in which the problem raised by Singer was discussed at length some three millenniums ago.

The solution put into the mouth of God may be seen as twofold: First, where were you at the beginning of the world? (If you were nowhere, don’t ask irrelevant questions!) And, second, instead of concentrating on all the evil, look on all the good in the world! Then you may get the idea that his world isn’t such a bad place after all. At least it is better than the surface of the moon. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

peter milward