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Statement of Beliefs - By Orson Scott Card

[This "statement of beliefs" was requested by a student for a paper]


"I believe that human beings exist on earth in order to achieve the purposes of a benevolent God, who cares what we do and wants us to become the best and happiest people our abilities and desires allow us to be. I believe that human life has no meaning in isolation, and that we are never happy except to the degree that our lives are lived for the good of other people and in the service of God. Merely acting out our biological destiny is ultimately unsatisfying because we are more than our bodies, and that part of us which makes our moral choices has always existed and will always exist, uncreated and inextinguishable.

More specifically, I believe that God is a being of spirit and body, who exists in a specific place and moves with us through linear time, and from time to time communicates directly or indirectly with human beings, trying to teach us so we can freely choose whether to become part of his universe of creation or to attempt to serve our own purposes at the expense of others. Among those to whom God has spoken are the prophets of the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the prophets of the LDS Church in the last two centuries. And Jesus of Nazareth, a being separate from God the Father, is his son, who paid the price for our sins so that when we change our behavior to be in line with God's will for us, we can become at one with the Father. Beside these beliefs, everything else pales to insignificance.

As for the current public religion of America, it has become an unsustainable faith in unbelief itself, proclaimed in ringing declarations that there is nothing to declare. It sounds like the blueprint of disintegration to me, and I think it is our responsibility to build and create against the entropy that has become the theme song of our society. The first responsibility of human beings is to create stable homes that bless the children and adults who dwell there, and then, as far as possible, all others within our reach, kin, neighbor, or stranger at the gate. Then we have a responsibility to use our public time in labors that provide for our family while also serving the public good. Families need a father and a mother, and variances from this should be regarded as tragic, to be avoided when possible, but compensated for as much as possible by extended family, friends, neighbors, and finally the authority of the community, when they cannot be avoided.

Art always carries messages, intentional or not. Therefore good artists do their best to sustain that which is good through their art, and to call for the correction of that which is destructive of happiness. Art which is destructive of the values of a decent society is deserving of no special privilege or protection by that society.

In a merciful society, no one, regardless of merit, is undeserving of the basic necessities of life. In a just society, no one should have the power to withhold from others those same necessities. Those whose purpose in life is the acquisition of worldly goods, and who are incapable of recognizing when they have enough, are to be pitied, not celebrated. The natural tendency of evil people toward monopoly of power is the reason for the existence of government, to level the playing field and protect the weak. But ours is a society that is becoming less just and merciful even as, in the name of justice and mercy, it is also becoming less free in matters of speech, press, and religion, while government is generally doing the opposite of its important functions.

How far should this statement of beliefs go? I also believe the original Star Trek was badly acted and took place within a foolishly conceived fictional universe - but I also believe that it doesn't matter enough for grownups to spend time talking about it."


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