Meaning of man's soul raises many questionsPope John Paul...

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November 02, 1996

Meaning of man's soul raises many questions

Pope John Paul II recently declared that the theory of evolution is not incompatible with Christian doctrine; that although man's physical body may have evolved from apelike ancestors, man's soul was created by God.

As an agnostic, I am trying to understand the meaning of ''soul."

(1) Is is something purportedly created ''in the image of God?'' That is, does it have at least some of the characteristics that we attribute to God: free will (the capacity to choose good or evil), the power to create or re-create human life, the capacity to think and use language, the power to build and develop a hospitable and nurturing culture?

(2) Is it an inner voice or spirit that God has implanted in us so that we will use our free will for the good of all His creations?

(3) Is it a source of loving energy that permeates the universe and is accessible to us if we are ready to embrace it? And if we embrace it, are we then inspired with a conscious commitment )) to perpetuate that loving energy?

Lawrence B. Coshnear

Baltimore

Book Bank supports reading, education

I applaud Ernest F. Imhoff's Oct. 21 article about the International Book Bank. As a contributing business, Waverly Inc. has been pleased to offer books that can be helpful to children, schools and aid agencies around the world. We are pleased that this Baltimore-based nonprofit has been so successful in bringing greatly needed books to underdeveloped communities.

I was, however, struck by Mr. Imhoff's point that the IBB does not accept donations of books from individuals. The community should know that Baltimore Reads Inc. has a program that not only accepts donations from individuals, but redistributes books low-income families right here in Baltimore. The Baltimore Reads Book Bank makes it possible for all families to have books at home and a chance to have a modest home library.

The Baltimore Reads Book Bank has been operating since 1992 and gives away 100,000 new and gently used books annually. Through Department of Social Services waiting rooms, health clinics, homeless shelters and literacy programs the Baltimore Reads Book Bank is encouraging reading, book ownership and family education. Over the years studies have shown that parents and children reading together helps to reinforce the value a family places on education.

The Baltimore Reads Book Bank accepts donations by appointment at the city warehouse on Edmondson Avenue. Call 752-3595 for more information, and watch for our citywide book collection celebration, Bring-A-Book Day, this spring.

Edward B. Hutton Jr.

Baltimore

The writer is president and CEO of Waverly Inc. and chairs the Baltimore Reads Inc. board of directors.

Fraud seen in Nicaragua vote

The Sun editorial Oct. 24 suggested that Daniel Ortega should concede, for the good of his country, that he lost the Nicaraguan presidential election.

As an observer to that election, I saw an unqualified mess.

The voting process, though orderly, was needlessly complicated. The process of counting the votes was questionable at best.

Approximately 40,000 ballots were annulled and ballot boxes were burned, as irregularities were evident to this observer.

All parties, including the presumed winner, believe there was fraud. A re-count is currently taking place.

Does The Sun believe that acquiescing to a fraudulent election furthers the goals of democracy and peace in Nicaragua?

evin O'Reilly

Baltimore

Cocaine the drug that frightens most

I have just returned from an enlightening course offered by the Harvard Medical School on drug addiction. This seems to be a problem affecting a large population, particularly young people, and many seem to have the need to experiment. These drugs are dangerous, particularly cocaine.

Researchers are just beginning to understand how these drugs work, where they go in the brain and what damage they do. The most frightening is cocaine.

Not only does it compete with normal brain chemistry but there is some evidence to show that it actually depletes the transport system of the brain.

Once cocaine is removed, the brain does not return to normal functioning. This may be the reason why often we see in chronic cocaine users, even those who are in remission, an emptiness or a deficit in functioning and personality. This is particularly true in young people. The brain does not fully form a total functioning chemical transport system and neuro-transmission until the late teens or early 20s.

Young brains that are subjected to damaging drugs such as cocaine are hurt 35 times more than an adult brain. This is the reason why early abusers have very difficult times in their adult life.

Alan H. Peck

Baltimore

Campus homecoming erodes learning task

The Oct. 26 article in The Sun concerning Towson State University's upcoming homecoming celebration truly struck a raw nerve.

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