Dear Dr. Dawkins,
I used to be a firm follower in Jesus Christ, however I couldn’t put together all the pieces of the bible and more so, about the role of Satan in the religious world. In this regard, one of the aspects that aroused my apprehensions was the fallacy of Christian free will.
According to my understanding, the very definition of ‘free will’ means you are free to choose between more than one alternative and if you do so using rational thinking, you will most likely choose the one which gives you some benefit (physical, financial, emotional etc.) either in the long or short term. However, in order to make an informed choice, you need to be well aware of the outcome of each alternative, i.e. – if you choose one over the other, you will lose out on certain variables or you will suffer certain consequences.
The bible’s first example of Christian free will is the so-called original sin, where Satan disguised as a talking serpent convinces Eve to think for herself and question Yahweh’s command to not eat from a certain tree. Eve thinks for herself and makes a choice based on the information she has. This is when the problem becomes apparent as it is not an informed decision and cannot be ‘free will’ under the rational definition.
The Garden of Eden story makes a subtle suggestion that there is something far worse than disobeying Yahweh’s commands, which is that all believers in him must suppress their curiosity. From humanity’s perspective, this is an extremely damaging idea planted into every believer’s mind.
Additionally, I always found it extremely strange that people would believe a 2000 year old book without question. Today, we find it extremely hard to accept any information as fact without verifying its source. Even Wikipedia comes under close scrutiny in the modern digital era. Yet, Christians readily accept stories in the bible as the gospel truth and choose to live their lives accordingly. The same can be said about most religions.
This thought process drove me towards rejecting the idea of a monotheistic god and gradually, all forms of theism.