Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - February 21, 2020
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Feedback on the Previous Essay
  3. Overcoming Conflicts with Truth – Part 2: Epistemology
  4. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Activist Feedback

Star Sevardar in Los Angeles writes:

Dear CVA team-mates,

I handed out 600 CVA booklets at the Women’s March!

Rick Hershey writes:

Chip and I handed out 1200 CVA booklets at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for Winter Jam in intermittent rain.


2. Feedback on the Previous Essay

Thanks for encouraging openness and sympathy toward people who continue to eat animal products despite having some knowledge of the anguish and dangers involved. I agree that anxiety is often an issue here. You may remember my editorial essay "The Sky is Falling," in which I discussed anxiety about the collapse of structures of meaning as one reason for clinging to habits of the bad old days.

Blessings,
Gracia Fay


3. Overcoming Conflicts with Truth – Part 2: Epistemology

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge, particularly its methods, validity, and scope. Many people seem to regard truth as relative, sometimes arguing that beliefs reflect social factors. However, experience teaches us that reality (whatever its true, fundamental nature) interacts with us in reliable ways. Airplanes reliably leave the ground under certain well-defined conditions, regardless of one’s beliefs about the ability of humans to fly.

Scientific investigations have proven very successful in defining the world in ways that improve human well-being. For example, modern technology and medicine are grounded in science. While philosophers debate the exact nature of science, it is fair to include experiences and measurements as sources of data from which scientific theories develop, and stronger scientific theories withstand tests of their validity. The bending of light from stars as they passed near the sun during an eclipse in 1919 lent strong support to Einstein’s general theory of relativity that described the curvature of space-time by gravity.

Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Yet, people often express greatest certainty about convictions for which the evidence is weak, at best. This has been problematic for humanity, because disastrous human conflicts have emanated from differing religious beliefs, all of which were based on slim evidence. The tendency of humans to have confidence in dubious religious claims has also been harmful to nonhumans. Many people contend that Genesis 1:25, which grants Adam “dominion” over the animals, demonstrates that God approves of humans treating nonhumans any way humans please, even if this includes merciless exploitation and abuse. This self-serving interpretation assumes 1) the biblical creation story accurately depicts historical facts; 2) the translation of the Hebrew is accurate; and 3) the human interpretation of these words and their implications accurately reflects the will of God. All these claims are very contestable.

The study of epistemology tends to lead to more critical thinking, as well as humility when it comes to truth claims. I will continue to consider the implications for animal issues.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

4. All-Creatures.Org Ministry


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