My Dear Professor Dawkins:
How to start? I am 70-years old and have struggled with the concept of a personal God for most of my life. When I say (struggled) I mean to imply I never could completely be convinced of the historical truth of the Bible. I talked to preachers, priests, ministers of every faith with the exception of the Muslim faith (not because I hold anything against the faith but simply because of access). I even joined the Free Masons because I was led to believe they may hold some untold secret that would unlock the mystery for me. All to no avail. The answer always came down to "you must simply believe, you must have faith." Yes indeed, Faith.....the belief in something with absolutely no scientific evidence to confirm what one has been asked to believe in. (Again, your argument not quite as eloquently presented.)
Admitting one is an atheist in the United States is akin to walking around with a foul odor emitting from one's person.
I have lost a son to my disbelief. He is a born again fundamentalist Southern Baptist and during our last conversation he told me "I'm nothing at all like you, I can't stand you." Needless to say it broke my heart. I always told my son I envied him for his belief (justified or not) because of the peace of mind it must bestow on one.
So why this impulse to write to you? I know you will probably never read this letter, and yet, I feel the need to inform you that your works have given me a feeling of comfort. For the longest time I felt quite separated from society, in fact a pariah to the point I would avoid any conversation regarding an intelligent personal God at all.
I must admit candidly, I would wish for the alternative to scientific fact that is simply undeniable. I would love to believe, completely and without reservation I had a go at eternal life. But in the end one must be an adult.
Now I candidly tell anyone who engages me in conversation regarding this ridicules theory "read Richard Dawkins, if you have the courage to learn the truth."
Thank you for your courage Professor. Thank you for giving me the intellectual arguments to rebut the wholly unbelievable fairy tails concocted by a bronze age tribe of ignorant people scurrying about the desert. Thank you for allowing me to finally associate my view on the subject with someone of your intellect.
I would absolutely love to spend an afternoon just talking, or perhaps listening to you. Of course that will never happen, but I can read your complex thoughts by way of the books you pen.
Please continue writing. I care not a fig, (your word) what you write about. You can write about the process of paint drying on the wall and I'll continue reading with the amazement of a child just discovering something so profound that it is simply like a light suddenly being focused in a dark space to reveal a reality which was not within reach. And I thank you for not writing "over my head" as I know you are well able to do.