Letters: Weapons, Morality A listener disagreed with the characterization of an AR-15, another took issue with a scientist's contention that if morality has a mechanical explanation, it will be hard to argue that people have souls. Michele Norris reads from listeners' letters.
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Letters: Weapons, Morality

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Letters: Weapons, Morality

Letters: Weapons, Morality

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Time now for your letters. Yesterday, we spoke with Ben Schmitt of the Detroit Free Press about the Christian militia group Hutaree. The group has been charged with plotting attacks on police. Mr. Schmitt said he'd spoken with the ex-wife of the group's leader.

(Soundbite of recording)

Mr. BEN SCHMITT (Detroit Free Press): This thing started off as sort of a peaceful praying thing and then she saw it becoming more violent and saw the purchasing of heavy artillery, like AR-15 weapons. And at that point she said she got out of the marriage.

NORRIS: Well, Camilla Morales(ph) or Frederick, Maryland writes this: the AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle classified as a small arm. It's one of the most popular models of small arms commonly owned in the U.S. To characterize it as heavy artillery is to imply that large numbers of gun owners throughout the country are hiding away heavy artillery.

Also yesterday, we aired a story about scientists who found that moral judgments can be changed simply by delivering a magnetic pulse to the brain. A Harvard psychologist told our reporter that if something as complex as morality has a mechanical explanation, it will be hard to argue that people have or need a soul.

Nathan Stoddard(ph) of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania took issue with that. He writes: Scientific research is organized to discover more about our world and not to promote a specific Atheist agenda. He continues: You could probably find a place in the brain that if pulsed would make a person say that two and two make three. Would that bring into question the truth of mathematics?

Well, please, keep your letters coming. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us.

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