I want to express my deep gratitude to you for saving me from the brain washing and delusions of religion, god, and superstition in general. I hope you are able to read this letter.
I was raised Mormon in Salt Lake City. In my early years as a teen I realized I had to find out if there really was a god and if the Mormon church was his church. I had been taught my whole life that if I asked god, he would tell me.
So I did. And I had an amazing experience, full of euphoria. Until about a year ago, I believed this to be an indisputable, undeniable answer from god.
I proceeded to live my life believing that I knew that it was true. I am sad to say that I went on an LDS mission and spread the disease 24/7 for two full years. I tried to obey every ridiculous rule. I returned about 2 years ago.
There were moments of happiness; sometimes I would be filled with ecstasy. But deep inside I was unhappy and not satisfied. I felt extremely guilty, worthless, and like I was a terrible person no matter how hard I tried. I hated my life, I hated myself. I suffered so greatly that at times I wanted to end my life.
About a year ago, I began to think about all the discrepancies and contradictions in the belief in a god, the scriptures, and mormonism. I had never read any mormon history; they do not teach anything about Joseph Smith or the beginnings that may induce doubt. They teach us that one must not read history written -by non-mormons, lest we be led astray.
I read the God Delusion, as well as the Selfish Gene and most of your other works. I also read other authors such as the late Christopher Hitchens. These books opened my mind to a whole new world.
I am now atheist and very much happier now. I have since 'come out', told my family and friends. I now speak to anyone and everyone about it (partly because I want to redeem my errors of going on a mission).
I have been liberated. Not by god, but from god. I am finally happy. I love who I am, I love my life. I feel free. My eyes have been opened. I am really seeing this amazing world for the first time. I have never been happier.
My morals have changed, and it has been for the better. I will be a good person because I am a good person. I will not let hope of reward or fear of castigation affect my morality nor my actions. I despise faith, I praise logic and reasoning. I condone doubt, I condemn the refusal to think.
I credit you, Richard Dawkins, for opening my mind and expertly explaining the truth to me. You unknowingly played the biggest role in this life changing event and I want to make you aware of it.
Thank you for all your efforts. I hope you realize that they are greatly appreciated.