On the average of once a week, Temple students encounter one or a few gentlemen espousing the word of God.
They stand on corners outside the Student Activities Center, the Bell Tower, and the Johnson-Hardwick dorms.
They are notable for their loud voices, their nearly-violent attitudes and of course their devoutly rigid interpretation of religion.
It is safe to say that many Temple students find these religious types annoying, not only for their loud ways but for their scare tactics.
Others must get peeved at how these guys try to challenge our secular or our own religious ways with their indoctrinated “better than thou” attitude.
Of course we could never ask to ban them from campus.
They are entitled to speak their minds and express their thoughts. We are all guaranteed that right by the First Amendment.
We are entitled, however, to counter their arguments with our own philosophy. Spiritualists claim to know the true religion when, like all people today, they cannot prove that any religion is true.
Until some deity appears on Earth for us to see and hear, all religion is on an equal level of possibile truth.
Christian spiritualists are adamant that Jesus Christ is the savior of all, but the truth is that he might not be for some.
All religion is speculation because it can’t prove any of its doctrines. That is why billions of people make the leap of blind faith and presume what they know to be true.
Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists all have equal standing as to whose religion is the true one — if any of them are correct.
Of course, there is also the train thought that religion is an individualistic thing and the different faiths all apply to whomever observes them.
In other words, the Jewish religion is the true religion for those who believe in it, and the same goes for Muslims and Christians and their faiths.
Each follower bears the faith that his or her religion calls for.
Then there is the most immediate evidence at hand for all of us, which is that there is no evidence of any God or any faith in action.
As far we can tell in our world today, we came from space gas and dust, and we evolved from the seas and the monkeys.
So, while the chance that God created Adam and Eve is as likely as the chance that the first emperor of Japan descended from the Sun, neither event seems to have actually happened.
But here is the catch when attacking religion (always a tricky subject): While these spiritualists and others cannot prove that God exists or religion is true, atheists, agnostics and similar thinkers cannot prove that God doesn’t exist or that religion isn’t logical.
This is the one true justification for followers of religion.
And this is the best argument to challenge the spiritualists on Main Campus.
Another tactic concerning these spiritualists is exercising an entitled right of ours. It is not a written amendment in the Constitution, however.
It is an inferred right that we get as human beings with brains: the right to ignore. This is the act that most of us take for granted when we see the spiritualists by SAC or by the Bell Tower.
We just ignore them.
We keep on walking. In this way, these spiritualists’ words fall on deaf ears. Their words are good for them perhaps. But for us, they are nothing more than dead words.
Let all those who wish to speak do so.
Let them have a chance in democracy. Once they see that their tactics have no place in a properly functioning society, they will fade away.
If they choose to defy such order, then our rational, civil hand will defeat them.
That is the beauty of the marketplace of ideas and true democracy.
That is the beauty of being conscious human beings and not the programmed machines that many of these spiritualists wish us to be.