Tuesday, 1 May 2007

The God Delusion pledge to MPs - John Gummer MP response

My reply from John Gummer (Suffolk Coastal):

"Thank you very much for sending me a copy of "The God Delusion."

"Richard Dawkins [sic] views have been comprehensively answered by several much more profound assessments of the evidence. I am of course sad that he should spend so much time in a vain attempt to undermine revelaed truth. Happily Pope John Paul II will be remembered with affection and reverence after Richard Dawkins is entirely forgotten."

How reassuring that I am represented in Parliament by such an open minded chap. I particularly like his false dichotomy about the Pope and Dawkins :D.
Clive at 11:50, Wednesday 25 April.

Here is my reply to Gummer:

Thank you for your letter 19th April regarding “The God Delusion”.

I am greatly disappointed to find that I am represented in Parliament by such a closed mind. I could ask for details of these “profound assessments of the evidence”. I could ask for scientific peer reviewed studies of this “revealed truth”. But that would be pointless. As Swift said, “You cannot reason a person out of a position that he did not reason himself into in the first place”, and I know that there is no hope of changing a worldview based on “revealed truth” and religious faith.

You may have guessed by now that I am an atheist and that I value scientific evidence and rational thinking above faith. In the circumstances there seems little point in continuing our correspondence. I can only hope that my next MP is more enlightened.

On a lighter note, I did enjoy your comment about the Pope and Dawkins. As this was a both a non-sequitur and a false dichotomy, I’m sure that it was not intended to further your argument against Dawkins. I can only assume, therefore, that it was meant in a “Happily, Tommy Cooper is remembered with more affection and reverence than Ernst Mayr” sense. Either way, I enjoyed the imagery.

Clive Beale at 13:28, Wednesday 25 April.


Good of you to send a follow-up letter Clive. Indeed, you won't change his mind, but our MPs are elected. If atheists come out and become more vocal, they'll have to take our views into account to some extent, even if they don't agree with them. So it's good that you're active beyond the extent required by the pledge.

I like the atheist-scientist-rationalist message of your letter.
Peter Klaver at 13:47, Wednesday 25 April


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