In this world of religious intolerance toward others and threats of retribution and violence toward those who are rightfully skeptical and critical of religious belief I admire your courage and conviction in so publicly stating your considered views. In time, and in the future annals of history, I am sure you will be heralded and acclaimed for both your insightfulness, courage and dedication to rid our world of the sufferings borne of our present religious teachings, beliefs and the attrocities committed in the name of God.
I believe your legacy will be that future generations shall consider our present to have been the “Second Dark Ages” – equally as blood thirsty, abhorent and incomprehensible as those of our barbaric past.
I too fully concur with your views and would like to contribute and aide in whatever way I can to your endeavours to enlighten people about the nature and consequences of blind faith and religious belief. This is the purpose of my email to you Richard.
I am writing this the day after hearing of the “celebrated” religious killing of Bin Laden. I am almost inconsolably saddened and feel a sense of hopelessness that religious intolerance and violence perpetrated upon others in the name of any particular God is not dissapating in these enlightend time; but that it instead seems (at least) to be gathering pace. A worrying thought.
I am a primary school teacher living in Western Australia. I am presently on holidays and had the opportunity this morning to listen to a radio talkback show on a government funded radio station, ABC Radio Perth (frequency 720). The ‘talk-back’ from people , who were almost giddily jubilant by news of the killing of Bin Laden was nausiating to say the very least. It prompted me to email the radio station with my views and to express my concerns and disgust. My thoughts were aired and discussed. Subsequent to this I have felt, at least to some degree, my sense of hopelessness and concern for our future generations has been marginally alleviated by engaging constructively in public dialogue associated with religious belief and its inherant consequences. I will attach the email that I penned and that was aired statewide below:
“To hear world leaders using expressions like “we are celebrating the killing of Bin Laden” and to see people in the streets laughing and cheering a killing is reminiscent of the blood thirsty Dark Ages and is a chilling reminder that we haven’t moved on from our barbaric past. The voyueristic pleasure many human beings seem to derive from seeing violence and suffering inflicted upon others is sickening. Rejoicing in this in the name of a particular God is a damning indictment on the very nature of religious belief itself . The day that organized religion is outlawed and vanishes from our world is a day that cannot come soon enough.
I am outraged to have world leaders (incuding ours) standing up and speaking for the western world, and supposedly on my behalf, celebrating and endorsing this religious and barbaric killing in the name of God. I find this abhorent and disgusting. I do not endorse the killing of any human being, and nor should our religious friends.
Humanity is far better than this, we are NOT barbarians – so why don’t we start acting like the civilised, caring, tolerant human beings that we so proudly like to think we are ?
Religion belongs in the Dark Ages and should have remained there. The dark shadow of religion should not be cast in the enlightened modern world of today. For the sake of humanity and of our children, and future generations let’s move on and leave it behind us, where it belongs.”
(3rd May 2011)
Richard, I hope you can assist me in some way with guidance and support in my future endeavours to follow your lead in educating society about the nature of religion and the associated, negative impacts and dire consequences of unquestioned religious beliefs and dogmas.
Reading your book “The God Delusion” was comforting in the sense that I felt there was at least one voice out there on the world stage arguing (thankfully on my behalf somewhat) the need for greater critical thinking regarding organised religions and belief systems. You have nobly given a voice to all voiceless, concerned ‘outgroup’ members of society. I humbly and sincerely thank you for ‘giving me a voice’ and for advancing societies’ understandings; hopefully promoting compassion, empathy, and peace for humankind.
I hope to hear back (but am not holding my breath) ..hahaha ..
I know you are an EXTREMELY busy man, and am thankful that you are so busily prompting and promoting these urgently needed discussions.
Thank you again Richard.
Have a great day 🙂
Very kindest regards,