Essay on Good and Bad Reasons for Believing

2126 Words Apr 13th, 2012 9 Pages
Taha Abdus Samad
Bushra Butt
Writing and Communication SS 100-12
16th April, 2012
Good And Bad Reasons For Believing
By Richard Dawkins
The text ‘Good and Bad Reasons for Believing’ is written by Richard Dawkins. It is an open letter which he wrote to his daughter, Juliet, when she turned ten and is part of his book, ‘A Devil’s Chaplain’. Dawkins feels his daughter is old enough now to not believe everything she is told blindly but should investigate what she is told to find out if it is true or not. This letter is also meant for theists and religious scholars whom Dawkins attacks in the letter. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and author. It is worth mentioning due to the nature of the letter that he is an
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Believers of religion accept this story as well as stories regarding other revelations to be true. Granted, there is no factual evidence to support this but one does not always need to see or feel something to believe it. Faith is more important sometimes. One cannot trust a teacher or any person for that matter if the writer’s point of view is accepted because the teacher obviously has not seen everything personally that they are teaching so one has to just take their word for it and have faith in them. If one accepts what the writer is saying, then there would be very few things one could actually believe in as it is impossible to observe and have evidence for everything in this world. Therefore one has to have faith in revelations and should consider them a good reason for believing.
Moreover, the writer is very biased in his way of writing and in some of the points he makes regarding religion. He is a hardcore atheist and it clearly shows in the text. Firstly, in the ninth paragraph where he talks about the disagreement between Roman Catholics and other Christian traditions on whether Virgin Mary had died or not, he compares this belief to the fairy tale “Snow White” (Dawkins 244). It is disrespectful of him to compare religious beliefs to a children’s story. Later, he also criticizes the Pope and says that he should not be believed blindly whereas it is part of the Christian faith to believe and follow him. (Dawkins

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