Letter: Dawkins and the divine `joke'

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Rev David Clemens (letter, 27 December) states that "you don't get bitter or offensive about something you don't care tuppence for", and implies that Richard Dawkins must therefore care deeply for the "truths of Christian belief" that he inveighs against.

The first notion is patently absurd. Terrorism, Nazism, pollution are regularly subjected to extreme animadversion from a wide range of people, not because they harbour a deep desire to cherish and nurture them but because they would like to see them wiped from the face of the earth.

Theologies of the Incarnation and the Atonement may well exist. So what? To people who do not believe in a god, these are no more than cute fairy stories. Introduce a mythical "supreme being" element into European folk tales or the Greek myths and you have a theology. Where does that get us?

Religion is certainly an extensive and significant part of human behaviour. It requires careful study and analysis, in the hope that we may one day find a cure.

ADRIAN DEERE-JONES

Glynneath, West Glamorgan

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