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3 Oct 2014
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Thought for the Day - Emails

I was given my say in the ‘alternative’ Thought for the Day, and I shouldn’t add more. But I really MUST repudiate the unjust accusation that I insulted all religious believers. I was at great pains to do no such thing. Instead, I attacked as childish two specific KINDS of religious believer. First, those who selfishly thank God for intervening to save them PERSONALLY while letting hundreds of other people die. Second, fundamentalist creationists who reject evolution. If the cap fits, wear it, but you’ll get no support from educated theologians or Bishops. They will say it is people like you that give religion a bad name.
A response from Professor Richard Dawkins to listeners' emails

Imagine George Bush saying " I'm not going to conduct prayers for the victims of September the 11th because there's not a shred of evidence that it can possibly do anything". 100 years after Darwin, 100 years after Einstein why should Religion continue to be pushed down the throats of humanity when its quite plainly a relic of the past ? It is important to realise how pervasive this mumbo-jumbo is, Tony Blair an Atheist ? err.. probably not in my lifetime mate. Give us Dawkins thought for the day.
Ian Cadman, Perth

At last, someone at the BBC has dared to allow a public challenge to the assumption that a religious ethical slot on the program is the only sort of ethical one that could be allowed - my previous email conversations with you a have taught me how deeply entrenched the assumption is.

It is insulting to humanists to have it repeated, as it often is, that only faith can give basis to an ethical view. Christine Morgan insists that allowing humanists on would change the nature of the slot, but it need not cease to be an ethical one. Surely the BBC is now mature enough to allow secular speakers. Dawkins' point was easily as worth making as any of the religious interpretations of events that normally make TFTD merely religious propaganda, and unusable as a guide to living life as an intelligent and enquiring adult.
Roger Fletcher

I always switch off when thought for the day is broadcast. It's an anachronism in today's society.

Sadly, we who do not have any religious beliefs are given no credence by the blinkered people who make decisions on such programmes - such as that ridiculous woman who is responsible for "thought for the day" - that you interviewed this morning.

Simply get rid of this slot!!!!
Richard Knisely-Marpole

I would just like to register my support for Thought For Today in it's present form.

As a non-practising Catholic, I welcome the few minutes of reflection from a spiritual perspective & very much enjoy hearing the views from the Jewish, Methodist & Hindu contributors.

Please, Please, keep it up.
Cecilia Owen

I'm a Christian; I find a lot of the broadcasting on Thought for the Day terribly tedious, but the ones I enjoy most are those people like Indarjit Singh and Lionel Blue from different faiths to my own and coming from a different perspective.

I think contributions from other faiths (including the various groups of pagans on significant dates for them), and from people of no faith but interesting ethical ideas, would be much more 'thoughtful' for what's presumably meant to be an intelligent audience than the kind of trite school-assembly stuff we so often get at the moment.
Liz Marley, Waterbeach, near Cambridge

I am appalled at the BBC's attitude to the call to include a secular view in "Thought for the Day".

Is it too much to ask that, when we suffer a religiously motivated outrage such as occurred on 9 September last year, we should be free from those who seem to think that the only way to interpret our feelings is in a religious context?

Religion is the problem, not the solution.
Ian Smith, Bedford

The BBC still seems to believe that those who call themselves 'religious' can somehow think more clearly, deeply and meaningfully than those who call themselves 'non-religious'. How can the BBC defend that bigoted view? It is clear that _everyone_ - theist, agnostic, atheist, a-religious - has an equal chance to reflect upon our world from their personal and unique perspective. It is also clear that it long past time for all such reflective thinkers to have an equal chance to share their Thoughts with Today.

I'm delighted to see this issue being properly addressed at last.
Amanda Baker

Of course "non-religious" voices should be able to share the Thought for the Day slot. To deny them is to deny that God is in all human experience - which would, of course, be nonsense.
Andrew Allcock (Reverend), Telford

I listened with interest your report this morning regarding thought for the day and I must say that I disagree entirely with the negative comment. This morning, as I poured warm milk over my Ready Break, I listened intently to what the speaker was saying and found that it gave me a small but noticeable lift.

At 27, like most people of my own age group, religion does not play much if not any part of my life but for the two minutes that thought for the day affords me, I would prefer it to stay. It gives you that detachment from the hustle and bustle of the "great news" story and just takes you away for a few moments to reflect on different parts of life depending upon what the speaker was saying at the time.

... is Brian Perkins off sick?
Jules Fraser

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What are your views on Thought for the Day? Click here to send an email or join the discussion on the message board.

Rabbi Lionel Blue
"As a non-practising Catholic, I welcome the few minutes of reflection from a spiritual perspective"
"Religion is the problem, not the solution."
"as I poured warm milk over my Ready Break, I listened intently to what the speaker was saying and found that it gave me a small but noticeable lift. "

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