My Daughter’s Choice , Good, Tue, Jan 29 2013 #(1746)

Jan 29, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,

After listening to Thought for the Day on the Today programme around 2 years ago my daughter, then 10, asked for my view on whether she should believe in God. I referred to the passage in the God Delusion that she should be free to judge for herself whether there is a God when she was old enough to understand and to think for herself explaining further that one should not automatically consider children to be of the same faith as their parents citing your example of being a child of Christian parents rather than assuming she is a Christian child. As an independently minded person she was naturally pleased with this paternal point of view.

She turned 12 in May and visited me in July for a holiday in Italy. One day she said to me, seemingly out of the blue, that she had decided that she is an atheist. I expressed no surprise nor endorsement of her choice other than I was pleased that she had been able to learn and then to make up her mind for herself.

In hindsight I wonder if there was an additional connection with her broad religious schooling, at which she has excelled at a private school together with other subjects such as maths and Latin, noting that we had visited many Umbrian and Tuscan towns and cities each of which was clearly dominated by churches and cathedrals with RC religion a central and obvious pillar of Italy’s history and way of life.

Yours sincerely,

Mark
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