Peter Atkins makes a number of valid observations in his academic opposition to religion. Such expressions of the indefensibility of religion are too often seen as being insensitive and best left unsaid.
But universities also fail to equip students with the critical and logical thinking skills needed to evaluate religious thought. Thinking skills are often narrowly defined by disciplinary boundaries, which are insufficient for students to challenge their own and others' belief systems.
We need not be afraid of reasoned argument: if religious ideology is valid, believers have nothing to fear; if found wanting, at least believers would know that their faith is based on little more than social conditioning, superstition and wishful thinking.
Philip J. Corr
Senior lecturer in psychology Goldsmiths College