Letter from an ‘Atheist’ Country, Good, Fri, Jun 14 2013 #(2033)

Jun 14, 2013

Dear Dr. Dawkins,
I write this letter from the Czech Republic, which is often said to be one of the least religious countries of the world. Last census showed 20.6% of people here label themselves as believers (down from 2001’s 32.2%), and only 13.9% adhere to specific religions. We have secular public education and politics, almost no religious agenda in the media or elsewhere. At first sight, my nation doesn’t need much of your brilliant work in exposing religion in its true colors, as we are seemingly naturally heading towards decreasing it from minor to negligible.

At second, third and every other sight I see problems emerging. Befief in, or at least respect to bullshit like homeopathy or astrology is widely spread as anywhere else. Scientific literacy is very poor. Where people in more religious countries force some myth instead of science, many people here know nothing at all. Education system fails to attract people to science and mathematics in particular, they build an aversion instead. We are falling behind in European education comparisons. And, maybe as a result, a lot of young people are prone to eat conspiracy theories. Amongst the significant ones, there is also a wierd belief that science itself is a conspiracy.

Whole purpose of me writing this, is to point out that even though this country (and some more in Europe, I guess) probably doesn’t desperately need you for rationalizing the religious, we still need you to help rationalizing the ignorant. One would almost say that without religion standing in a way it should be easy bringing people to more sceptical thinking, or at least thinking. But it doesn’t work here yet, on the test group of 10 millions.

I didn’t realise all of this until I read The God Delusion and understood religion is just one of the effects of ignorance. This kind of literature is very useful and educational for people like me, who are atheists since they were able to think about it. Thank you for writing it. I’ll read the rest of your books as soon as possible.

I wish you the best in bringing the wonders of reality to people.

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