You have helped me reinforce my disapproval of bizarre (but popular) beliefs of religion. I am from India and a Hindu by birth. But I never reconciled with the notions of religion. This is mainly because I was taught science and it made more sense. Every theory I read in science class was based upon solid evidence and it never said that I had to believe in them simply because a great scientist said so. Instead it said that I would arrive at the same conclusion if I tried to explain the same phenomenon. And if I did not, given my experiments were indeed correct and conclusion different, then it could be said that the previous conclusion was wrong. This clearly points out that the objective of science is to find truth and only the truth. It is not about whose theory looks (for want of adjectives…my vocabulary is limited) beautiful or clever, if it is contrary to observation it means that a better explanation through another theory is required. I simply could not find this approach in any religion and that’s why I rejected them all.
I believe that people educated in science have a better chance of understanding what you are trying to explain. I support your argument that children should be taught science from early age and should be taught to question popular beliefs if they are without evidence. We spend most of our adult life unlearning the nonsense we learn in childhood which can be avoided if we are not taught these silly concepts in the first place. It’s simply surprises me how people apply logic and reason to everything else in their lives but not religion. It’s their deep seated belief and self illusion that gets augmented by occasional success which they probably prayed God for. After a substantial period of their pious lives if somebody points out the flaws in their belief system they take this on their ego. Once that happens, whatever credible and unquestionable proof you give as evidence, they will trash them saying that these are mere hogwash. The acceptance of truth becomes secondary to them and they then tend to argue violently and come up with all kinds of cheap arguments to discredit yours. They fail to see that the objective should be to find truth and not to argue over whose theory is beautiful. Your numerous debating videos on YouTube and my personal experiences support my conclusions about religious people. Perhaps their definition of truth is different. Perhaps they find truth to be consoling. Perhaps they find truth to be something that gives them purpose and meaning to life so that they feel important. Or perhaps, which is more likely, they are plain foolish.
I have read just two of your books (God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker) and I must say that they are very convincing. People who have open mind will say that they raise our consciousness to a new level (closer to truth). Needless to say that I will try to read more of your books.