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016 Letter 14

Keplodorinan and all of Kireca send greetings to you, our friends in Tabitef. Gegorg: we are glad that you and the others remain close to us. Peace is welcome, and we renew that welcome each spring.
 
In our view, you were entirely correct to quiet your two brothers, for surely they have committed error. We should not teach, “there is no god.” Rather, we must always teach, “no god has made itself known to us, so we do not affirm any god.” Indeed, anyone who rejects all beliefs commits the sum of all error. To reject something and to affirm something each requires equal knowledge, and since knowledge is what we do not have, either course is wrong.
 
Indeed if we were to adopt the view about which you inquired, our hypocrisy would shine through to all. Everyone around us would say, “you call us arrogant for affirming a god we do not see. However, you say that no god exists out of sight. If our belief is arrogant, surely yours is more so.” Therefore, we neither believe nor disbelieve, and thus we retain our humility. Humility, after all, is the essence of wisdom, and if in life we cannot have knowledge, let us at least have wisdom.
 
Does this mean that we can say nothing about the divine? Not necessarily. Perhaps from time to time, a belief will come to our notice that is untrue and discernible as such. Someday a false prophet may say to us, “I come from beyond the horizon and speak for a god who exists in a manifest blaze of glory in such and such a place.” Some of our brothers could go visit that location, and if they see no visible god as claimed, we ought to reject that belief as untrue. It would be excessive modesty to do otherwise.
 
However, that is not what your members taught. We should not reject claims sweepingly, nor should we presume claims to be untrue. If we reject a belief, let us do so only with the strongest reasoning that is coherent both to us and to any good-willed person who inquires of us.
 
Again, we welcome this quiet. Our winter was relatively mild and, more importantly, was not hibernation for armed forces: the spring is greeted much better when it does not accompany a renewal of violence.
 
We were glad to hear that you too are at peace. Of course, if this ever changes, we will always help you as much as we can.
 
Our hope is always that everything benevolent stands with you.