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Created on Aug 15 2011
Dear Richard,
My name is Davor, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Croatia. First, I want to thank you for writing all those books and articles that helped me to become atheist. Before that, I was non-religious, but I believed in some supernatural power, some kind of personal God. I don’t expect you to answer on this e-mail, I just want to share my opinion with you.
Everything started when my friend’s dad (who is Jehovah’s Witnesses) asked me some things about religion. Also he talked about creationism and he was very boring trying to convince me that science is wrong and Bible is true(?!). So I took The Greatest Show on Earth to learn more about evolution. While I was reading this, I felt like I’m losing religion every day, more and more. Because of that, I decided to read The God Delusion. I was very happy when I realized that atheism is positive, optimistic and… true! I have to thank Jehovah’s Witnesses for being atheist.
However, I have some dilemmas about religious intolerance. I was raised to respect and tolerate every religion and then I found that you don’t tolerate it at all. I know religion did awful things in the name of their imaginary friend and that it’s disgusting when children don’t have chance to decide what religion they want to be (or not to be) and when they don’t get enough education. Of course, we can’t tolerate that! Anyway, I think there is nothing wrong in a true religion. I think we should respect and tolerate all religions as long as they are within the moral laws, which are not based on any religious book but on rational thinking. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Bono Vox even Jesus Christ (by the way, Atheists for Jesus is a great article) are/were religious but also very good persons. As Angelina Jolie said when she were asked if there is a God, Hmm... For some people. I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn't need to be a God for me. For me neither.
So, if a person, knowing that evolution is true and having no evidence for God, still believes in it because he/she simply feels happy and he/she believes that God mission is to share love and piece, I think there is nothing wrong. Yes, it is opposite of my beliefs and it is weird to me to believe in something without evidence, but if they want it, I don’t care as long as they are not threat to anybody.
To sum up, I will not tolerate if religion breaks some moral laws (for example if some religion don’t respect homosexuals or if they (Jehovah’s Witnesses) believe that organ or blood transplantation is huge sin although they could save somebody's life with it or if they don’t give their children enough scientific education), but I can’t have prejudice against religious people only because they believe in God.
I don’t know how to say thank you for being atheist. I couldn’t imagine life without God, but you showed it to me and I was fascinated! Thank you. You make my life worthwhile.
Best wishes,
Davor
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