I wanted to thank you for your books and videos as I have found them to be very informative.
For most of my life I was an atheist except for a two year period about 5 years ago when I attended a christian church following a difficult time in my life. Whilst I found it useful, in terms of receiving social support, that time also confirmed by disdain for christian and all organised religion. The title of your book “The God Delusion” is very apt and whilst I believe in the right of people to make a choice about their religious beliefs, I do think there is a high degree of delusion going on.
I have been reading through some of the letters you have received under the “bad” and “ugly” category and it is frightening. These letters are a good example of why I have for most of my life wanted nothing to do with organised religion. Some of the people who have written to you seem to be angry, homicidal and/or psychopathic. I found it disturbing, although sadly not surprising, to hear such passionate defence of organised religion by those writers.
One thing I would say is that your approach in some of your DVD’s does appear to be very arrogant. That may be your personality but I think it results in you running the risk of appearing just as one-eyed as some of the religious fundamentalists you interview. Whilst I admire your passion, it can make you look just like a muslim who argues the jew are wrong, or that the christians are wrong. You are simply arguing that they are all wrong and science and atheism are right.
Whilst I am an atheist, I think the problem with christianity, islam, etc is that they are man-made. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there is a god who spoke to Moses, sent his son, etc – perhaps some of the teaching might be acceptable. The problem is that men (mostly) have set up religions all over the world during the last few thousand years, each with their own take on the knowledge allegedly passed down to us mere mortals. Each feels they need to save everyone and get them to convert to their version of religious nirvana. If one can imagine that there is a higher being, the problem is that men have become involved and are inherently conditioned to advance themselves. Organised religion is the source of so much harm and pain in this world and what is written in the bible is nothing more than a 1500 year old story as far as I’m concerned and it worries me that so many invest so much of themselves in it’s advancement.
Anyway, thank you Richard for your writings and work on film, I have very much enjoyed it.
I would love to attend lectures in Australia if you ever get down here. Any plans to come to Australia?