This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

A Letter from a Young Mesopotamian

“Who are you?”

That is a three-word question which I have encountered thousands of times from three kinds of people. The first are the ones who don’t know me so they ask for a little introduction.The second are the ones who like some of my views and want further information about my past and my interests.

The third are the ones who think that I am a person who is not worthy of living, being respected, or being financially supported: a criminal.

They make the accusation because I dare to think out of the box about religion and tradition.

The third kind of people are the majority of people I encounter, unfortunately, and they range from some members of the family to random people who issue me death threats in the hope that I, and others like me, will one day never exist on this planet anymore.

So ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you some of my thoughts and beliefs, and I want you to be the judge of my words.

I support equality between men and women and I also believe in equality for homosexuals. I support equal rights for all human beings regardless of their ethnicity, language, etc.

Oh, what a disgrace! An Iraqi Arab supports equal rights for women?! Equal rights for homosexuals as well?!

I have been attacked many times by some people who consider women to be inferior to men and think that homosexuals are “filthy sinners”.

Well, listen folks, I don’t think that women are inferior because there is not a shred of evidence to support that idea, and I don’t consider homosexuals “filthy” because they are simply people who love partners from the same sex, no more, no less!

I am an advocate of reason despite the fact that I am unreasonable sometimes due to the impact of my society on me. I think that any arguments or beliefs should have evidence to back them up and this evidence has to come from the real, natural world because it is the only one we have access to. Claims which are not supported by real, testable evidence should be open to inquiry and open to be approved or disapproved by people who are knowledgeable about the subject.

I consider the theistic god(s) to be a delusion which belongs to the “unsupported by scientific evidence” category of claims because “Higher Intelligence” is a scientific claim and therefore it is a subject of science, not “faith”, but at the same time I admit that I am open minded to look, analyze and understand any new reasonable claims about whether there is a higher intelligence or not. But until that time, I still adhere to free thinking, just like I still adhere to non believing in astrology or zombies!

There are many views I have been attacked for but the ones above are ones that lead to it most often.

Therefore, in case I get killed or the 20-year-old Faisal can not get enough food to keep him alive and sane, this is my letter to the world written by him in his fully functional brain and in his second language of English, so expect it to be direct and containing some grammatical mistakes (I am sorry for that). I would like to summarize my letter in few short points, and I am really sorry if it will take you more time to understand them due to difficulties in my elaborations.

Please don’t be an arrogant asshole. Always know that you didn’t choose your gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality. Being proud of things you didn’t choose and that you didn’t work hard for is ridiculous, and if you treat other people who don’t share them with you with no respect, inequality and no mercy, that means you are a bigot and you should be treated as one.

Don’t be dogmatic, as I admit myself to believing in “moral truths” but I am not certain enough to close my ears and stop listening to more information that may change my perspectives or maybe strengthen them.

Don’t just listen to what you want to listen to. Yes, I mean it, I really do. Don’t listen to a one-sided view about any topic because it makes you feel more comfortable and smart, but listen to different perspectives and, as I said before, always look at the evidence!

Asking questions is enormously better than believing fake answers. If you had been born 4000 years ago, would it have been better to believe that the Earth was flat, or to have kept an open mind on the question of the shape of the Earth, until revolutionary new devices and scientists could solve it in the future?

Share the knowledge you have with others, not only because it is a good thing but because it is the pathway for a successful democracy. Would it be better for your fellow humans (who have the same right as you to vote) to make an informed or uninformed choice?

Have a basic understanding of world cultures and try to find a way to bring these cultures together to make the world a better place.

Mark Twain beautifully said, “All generalizations are false, including this one.” I don’t think that needs any elaboration.

Appreciate this wonderful Earth because it is the only planet we know of that we are capable of living on. The best way to show your appreciation is by trying your best to save it for the next person.

I am afraid my letter is getting boring and I would like to thank you for spending your precious time reading it. I hope it wasn’t a big waste, please share it if you like it.

Thank you again.


MORE BY faisalalmutar



Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment