BRIAN Quail (Letters, 17th July) claims that "God’s existence cannot be proved by arguing from the natural world". If by "God" he means an all-powerful and benevolent creator of the natural world, I agree, since the evidence points the other way.

When I look at the natural world, I see not only the beautiful and beneficial but also the horrifying and destructive: earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, floods, droughts, famines, diseases, parasites and animals killing other animals, often slowly and painfully, to ensure their own survival. If authors are judged by their works, any divine creator of the natural world must be considered either fallible or sadistic, which rules out the Christian notion of God.

I'd be interested to read Mr Quail's counter-argument, but he probably won't produce one, as he claimed that arguing about God is a waste of time.

Robert Canning, Bridge of Earn.

No ministry of doom

ROSEMARY Goring hit the nail on the head with her article about embracing defeat graciously ("Roger that: Learn to embrace defeat in a healthy manner", The Herald, July 17) in the wake of the Federer-Djokovic Wimbledon final but spoiled an otherwise excellent piece with a sideswipe at Presbyterianism.

As a past editor of Life and Work she really should know better than to indulge in cheap shots against Presbyterianism using stereotypes as targets. Of course we can easily conjure up the dour guilt-ladling minister in our imaginations, and even Andy Murray (speaking of tennis champions) has been sent up for his rather less than upbeat on occasion way of speaking. But Presbyterianism's theology is better summed up in Leonard Cohen's insight: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

It's a shame that those having a wee go at Christianity or religion need the old stereotypes to prop up their case. The letter from Neil Barber (July 17) suffers from the same disease. If he lives and works in Scotland he should know that here taxpayers' money has never funded Church of Scotland schools since there never were any, and if we in the Church of Scotland have any "established privilege" I'd love to get hold of the directory which lists them, and since the Kirk is/was "the national church" the other religious leaders never got much of a look in either. Any privilege accorded us was always one of courtesy rather than right.

Frank Ribbons, Aboyne.

ROSEMARY Goring commendably highlights the sportsmanship displayed by both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer following Sunday's epic Wimbledon Final. Coincidentally on that same day England and New Zealand were contesting the Cricket World Cup Final. The match ended in a tie whereby a single "super over" was necessary. Unbelievably the match was still tied after it was played. Finally, by virtue of England scoring more boundaries England were declared outright winners, albeit New Zealand had lost fewer wickets in amassing their score.

Whilst the England team and supporters celebrated in style, the attitude of the New Zealanders and in particular their captain, Kane Williamson, was exemplary. No theatricals, no surliness, only understandable disappointment. This was sportsmanship at its best and hopefully will highlight a standard which contestants and supporters of all sports would do well to follow.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

ENGLAND won the men’s Cricket World Cup – hearty congratulations (“Stokes lights fire as England edge thrilling World Cup final”, Herald Sport, July 17). Given that we’re still hearing (ad nauseam) about how they won the Football World Cup in 1966, does this mean we’ll still be hearing about this Cricket World Cup in 2072?

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.