Dear Professor Dawkins
I am reading your book "The God Delusion" with much interest. Despite having been an atheist since about 11 years of age this is the first book I have read on the subject.
It puzzles me that any sane, rational, person can still believe in a mythical being such as God, no matter what name is used. You might as well believe in the tooth fairy or the sock monster for all the difference it makes! I don’t mind people having faith, so long as they don’t try to force their views on others. I have noticed that a certain section of ‘believers’ are amongst the first to resort to threats and abuse when ideas, with scientific, proven, fact behind them, are presented as an alternative to God.
Religion, supposedly in the name of God, has been responsible for so much of the world’s misery and suffering over the centuries. I realise that wars are fought for other reasons but religion has been one of the main causes, even in the present century/decade.
Organised, state, religion even persecuted people of the same faith but with slightly different views declaring them heretics. An example of this behaviour was the persecution of the Cathars of France in the 1100s. If there is only one true faith why did the church feel so threatened by an alternative view? Was their religion that weak that a handful of people could threaten the whole of Christianity?
All religion ever did was suppress the population and keep them under control by threatening dire consequences if they did not believe. I’m sorry, but if God is all knowing and forgiving, as they would have you believe, what difference does it make what you personally believe/don’t believe as long as you are a good person?
Religion may provide a spiritual crutch in times of need for those that do believe, but there is no evidence that God existed or exists still. The bible, Koran, whatever it may be, provide the only so called ‘evidence’. All of these written by a number of ordinary people long after the events are supposed to have occurred, all with their own agendas and ideals. The bible itself is full of contradictions, but what would you expect from a book written by a number of different authors, making it up as they go a long?
Under certain religions you can commit every evil deed imaginable throughout your life. However, as long as you confess to a priest, you will still go to heaven ultimately but an atheist, who has been good and moral all their lives, will go to hell. This basically means that you can behave without morals throughout your life but as long as you obtain Absolution before you die you will be admitted to heaven. Where is the sense in that? Whoever thought that particular gem up must have committed some truly terrible deeds.