Dear Richard Dawkins
I was raised for the first 15 years of my life (I am young I admit, I'm 16 in a month) an agnostic, I was taught by my mother to not question peoples believes, their faith or thier practise. I remember, as a small child of no more than 6, asking my mother “Is there really a god mummy”, and her reply, “Some people say there is or isn't, its about 50/50”. I know realise ofcourse that just because there is only two options (THERE IS or THERE ISN'T a god) that this does not make both side equally probable, if this were true then 50% of people would die by chocking on hamsters, as you either do DIE BY HAMSTER or DONT DIE BY HAMSTER. I also distictly remember the day the twin towers came crashing down in a pile of ash and rubble, and I didn't understand it at the time. I am not a very quite person by nature, but until I had read your books (so far I have gone through 'Climbing mount improbable, The Blind Watchmaker and ofcourse The God Delusion', I have also finished both of Sam Harris's books) I had little idea about religion.
I do not know everything, and I do not pretend to be a moral guide or great teacher, but in my mind a young teenage boy standing in a school hall with 200 other boys, singing “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before” is (for all intents and purposes) brainwashing. War is never good, and telling children it is glorious is evil to my way of thinking. This is real moderism, in a non-christian English public school. We are still forced to sing religious songs every morning, though I now refuse to on the grounds of 'it might offend Thor'.
I may also mention that I have read a book that I imagine you dispise, 'The Dawkins Delusion'. It has a slick title, but my appretiation of it stops there. I am in mensa, I'm not a biologist or physasist (due to my dyslexia I cannot even spell the latter), but cold hard logic was all I needed to destroy the foundation of The Dawkins Delusion, something which I cannot do to any of your books, something which we must all try to do to any scientific book or claim. Science conveniently fits with logic, making that wonderful thing we call reason. God fits conveniatly with irrationality, making that thing we call “faith”. I say 'conveniantly' in the latter because, as my Christian RE teacher tells me, “if we KNEW God was there it wouldn't be faith”, I can therefore only assume that to her irrationality is a good thing…
I have written this small email just to thank you for the brilliant insight you have shown me into the workings of religion and faith. I also wrote it, to get alot of stuff out of my system. I am not one of your more remarkable converts (afterall, only from quite agnostic to rather loud athiest), but I hope you appreciate it.
Yours faithfully (ohh the irony!)
Thomas Wade Fraser