Mind matters

Rev Robert Anderson (Letters, 3 November) claims that “metaphysical Scotland” has been 
replaced by materialist Scotland, Christian Scotland by secular Scotland, and the exercise of “mind-spirit” by technology.

These are not, in fact, oppositional pairs.

All our lives have a materialist aspect: we must eat, wear clothes, be housed and get hold of money, but these concerns do not prevent an interest in metaphysics. Indeed, we are less likely to think about metaphysics if our material needs are not met.

Christianity is not threatened by secularism. Even if Scotland became a completely secular state (which it isn’t quite), Rev Anderson would not be prevented from following his religion or promoting it in public, as he does in his letter.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When we call a state secular, we do not mean that it opposes religions: we mean only that it does not endorse any. Indeed, by not allowing constitutional supremacy to any one religion, secularism protects the freedom of religious minorities.

The exercise of “mind-spirit” is not only not replaced by technology but often assisted by it. As I type this comment, I am using technology in the exercise of my mind.

Robert Canning

Bridge of Earn


So, some scientists believe that shifting tectonic plates and shallow oceans can account for that rapid emergence of a huge range of radically diverse animal types known as the Cambrian explosion (your report, 3 November).

This “explanation” completely misses the point: environmental and chemical conditions are not agents of design.

Vastly complex and sophisticated living organisms do not automatically pop into existence when the background conditions are favourable.

Our experience consistently shows us that co-ordinated systems of interrelated functional components only arise as the product of intelligent design.

Attempts by scientists to reduce the problem to mere raw material supply and environmental factors just avoid the real problem.

Richard Lucas



Related topics: