Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I salute you, Sir, for openly stating what you think. I concur whole heartedly with everything you have said. You are a champion!
I am and always have been someone who doesn’t fall for any of this holy mumbo jumbo.
Although my father is a catholic and my mother a protestant I have always conscientiously refused to pray, sing along and indeed participate in anything that was connected to a mythical belief of any sort.
I remember at a very young age infuriating my religious teachers by constantly asking for proof, to the point at which they threw me out of class, no doubt to be left to the ‘devil’ to deal with.
As I get older, I am now in my 40’s, I find myself at a wits end at supposed intelligent people who blindly give in to a belief in a higher being. I, apparently, should be lonely, forlorn, lost, devoid of any moral compass, on the verge of utter ruin and destined to roast in hell, just because of my inability to see the light.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if scientist were to find a gene that favours self-deception and one, call it an equanimity gene, that makes those of us that have it, aware that the grass is green enough on our side. That would surely give us an answer.
Steven Weinberg’s assertion that it takes religion for good people to do evil things, is spot on. Which leads me to a question….as an ostensibly humane society, how far do we go to deal with those who do evil in the name of their god if the perpetrator will never see that they have done anything wrong? As someone who has a very strong sense of survival, I am inclined to firmly stand my ground.
Banning religion outright would be an answer albeit one fraught with complications.
Like alcohol, driving, and cigarettes, should participating in any religious belief only be aloud from the age of 17 or 18 on the grounds of Health & Safety. Or like sex, at the age of consent? The sweet irony of this makes me smile.
No, I believe the answer lies with us parents. I somewhat reluctantly respect my daughters school to teach tolerance of different belief systems. I am sure they are only trying to smooth the pathway of future generations, however, I fear nothing will change. From me she will learn the gift of an enquiring mind. I want her to ask questions, to the point at which she herself might be thrown out of class. She will know that being a exemplary citizen has absolutely nothing to do with religion and that she should feel contented to just be herself. I wish her not to suffer the burden of a fictitious heaven or hell.
Hopefully she will grow up to represent the future generation.
Best wishes and many thanks for sticking your neck out, so to speak.