I am in the process of reading your book, The GOD Delusion and feel compelled to write to you a few of my thoughts.
GOD is not a delusion. HE is very real. I certainly cannot prove it to you and I assure you nobody else can or ever will. GOD will not be ‘proven,’ at least to the standard accepted by science. HE does prove HIMSELF, but this proof is reserved for those you might call the faithful.
What I can’t understand is how a person as learned as yourself can discount the concept of faith. I can see (clearly) that you don’t have it, but even yourself cannot deny that the vast majority of mankind does in some form or another. If I were a man as learned and educated as yourself and I realized that literally every generation for the past 2000 years contained between 3-4 billion monotheistic believers in some understanding of the Abrahamic GOD, that in and of itself would make me want to at least learn more about this concept of faith. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
True believers don’t need proof that GOD exists. We feel HIM. We hear HIS voice and respond to HIS promptings. Had you been a documentarian of my life from its beginning until now, able to hear and analyze my thoughts, review my decisions, and see the outcomes, you could only come to one of two conclusions: either a am the luckiest, most fortunate person in the entire world with lady luck smiling on me every step of the way, or GOD ALMIGHTY had indeed planned my life and was fulfilling HIS promises in my life every step of the way.
That being said, there are multitudes of church-going people that believe they are in GOD’s good graces, HIS “elect,” HIS children. They are in for a surprise one day. In your book on page 130 you begin speaking of Pascal’s Wager in which, given the gravity of the possible outcome, one might as well say they believe in GOD just to cover the bases, just “in case.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV) Pisteuon is the Greek word for “believe.” However, it is not the same as simply acknowledging a concept in one’s mind, such as, “I believe the sun is likely to come up tomorrow.” It’s a bit stronger than that. Lets say I spread a cable over the Niagara River and then traverse the falls with a wheel barrow. Once I get to the Canadian side I find you there and you say, “hey, nice job!” My response is, “well, do you think I can do it again?” When you say, “sure,” I respond, “well then get in the wheel barrow and lets go.” Believe, or pisteuon, means, “get in the wheel barrow.” If you truly believe, you “get in the wheel barrow.” Simply believing as a concept in one’s head is not sufficient to be included as one of GOD’s children.
GOD’s children know GOD and HE knows us. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27 KJB) This word, know, is ginosko in Greek and indicates an intimate, experiential knowledge. It’s also the same word used in euphemism for sexual relationships. The trappings of religion are useless, as is being good, going to church, giving away your money, kneeling 7 times a day facing the holy mecca and any other of the multitude of religious traditions. The only thing that matter is being in a close, personal, intimate relationship with GOD.
Yes, I know GOD. I speak with HIM and HE speaks with me. HE is indeed very real. Am I delusional? Those that know me would say otherwise.
GOD bless you, Mr. Dawkins.