• Kobe


It is very nice of Dipak Basu, in his April 12 letter “A respectable view of ‘heaven,” to tell us benighted Westerners “raised through Judaistic principles” what we believe, but he is so far out of touch that he might as well be on another planet.

The great decline in churchgoing in Europe at least is due to people learning to think for themselves. In the United Kingdom, there are probably as many adherents of Wicca, the ancient nature religion, as there are regular churchgoers.

There has been in many countries, too, a revival of shamanistic beliefs, as more and more people realize what the wonders of science and industry have brought them in terms of pollution and despoliation of the natural world.

Basu’s summations are not only contradictory but also naive. Could he explain why this benevolent “One Supreme Creator” (called “Brahman in Hinduism, Dhammakaya in Zen Buddhism,” etc.), who is supposedly “taking care” of souls, found it necessary to include AIDS, Ebola, smallpox, syphilis, leprosy, bubonic plague, malaria, Spanish flu, etc., in the world he created?

This is quite apart from the observed fact that all life exists by killing other life and that there are natural disasters — earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, hurricanes. It makes far more sense to believe that this world is a fatally flawed creation, the product of what the Gnostics called the demiurge — the “half-creator”. … That Gnosticism was called The Great Heresy by the Catholic Church for almost two millennia is a great compliment.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

barry andrew ward

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.