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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. What does a successful broker believe? One who has written a bestseller called How to Lay a Nest Egg. A man who is a director of many companies and active in civic affairs. Here is Mr. Edgar Scott to tell us what he believes.
I’d like to begin with the things I don’t believe. I don’t believe in the accidental theories of creation and evolution. I can’t believe that a couple of atoms accidentally bumping into each other billions of years ago,
and a lot more unplanned accidents through the ages, led at last to the beauty of flowers, of music, of the people I love best. Bacon said, “I had rather believe all the fables and the legends of the Talmud and the Al Koran than that this universal frame is without a mind.”
Besides being the mind of the universal frame, what else is God? Is he a divine providence? I should think so, in a broad sense. But I can’t possibly believe in a providence, one of whose jobs is to give me everything I think I want on Earth.
Another thing I can’t believe is that God intended this world to be perfect. People baffle me who claim that the presence of evil on Earth proves the absence of God. It seems to me that either we are here to prepare the world for some future destiny, or that the world is here to prepare us, like a great school.
I suppose most of us prefer the second thought to the first, because it implies that we are eternal. Maybe we are actually eternal as individual spirits. Or maybe the life in us is a little share of spirit which returns to a great, all-inclusive spirit whence it came. How could we possibly know? But we needn’t be troubled.
If death is followed by the endless sleep of nonexistence, it won’t hurt. We won’t be there. If we are immortal, I have faith that immortality must be a shining thing to be anticipated with a glad heart.
Of course the riddle of life and death is still there like an unsolved puzzle, fascinating and sometimes terrifying. Maybe, as a remarkable book written years ago by a Russian says, “The universe is four-dimensional.” Four, five, or even six; in which case, our own three-dimensional limitations would make it impossible for us to see God, eternity, and the rest of it, even though they were
all around us all the time. Frankly, I don’t understand that, but I’m inclined to believe it.
I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus as a man who, as William DeWitt Hyde said, “translated law into love and thereby won the spiritual leadership of the world.” Love, I think, is the key to the good life. I believe that love and real consideration of one’s fellow man, the insistence on giving him a just and fair break in all dealings are the characteristics of the truly strong. Prejudice, distrust, meanness, the dirty trick are born of insecurity and weakness. They are
the hallmarks of the small soul.
I feel there are things too big for man to dominate. The big things we must live by and live with—things to which we must surrender. Some people, hardened by the tough problems of making a living in a competitive world, refuse to surrender. What they can't dominate, they shun. To me, they are the unfortunates. They miss the richest experiences of life: service of a great cause; the search for truth, inspiration, big joy, and a selfless love which transcends them all.
I like the hymn that tells us, “Lay hold on life.” I try to keep busy living life as fully as I can. I try to remember Stevenson’s advice, to “turn our back on apprehensions and embrace that shining and courageous virtue, faith.” Faith in God, in the boundless possibilities of man, in the good life here on Earth; and, if that’s the way it is, hereafter.
There you have the belief of Edgar Scott, a financier who knows that there are things too big for man to dominate, things to which we must surrender.