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Created on May 04 2010
Dear Richard Dawkins,
First off, I want to say thank you for allowing this 19 year old to see that it's okay not to believe in god.
For as long as I can remember, I have believed in God, but on and off. I consider myself a rational thinker. I believe in science, because it works. I believe that we (humans) arrived here by evolution and that the universe isn't run by a supreme being. But I still always thought that there might be a God somewhere. I always thought religion was a necessity in life. I didn't know what I would do without thinking there's a God out there somewhere. I thought that god does exist somewhere, but he didn't create the universe, nor does he listen to people's prayers and things such as that. I saw it as god was just there. I always believed, and still believe, that the universe began at a singularity. It then expanded without a god intervening. But a god was still around. My mother is Russian Orthodox and my father is Jewish. I'm thankful they never tried to force a religion upon me. I always celebrated the Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah and Christian holidays such as Christmas. But I was never a deeply or even moderately religious person. I never celebrated Shabbat, never went to Church or Synagogue. Despite all this, for whatever reason, one that I don't understand now, I thought that there just HAS to be a god. I never believed in the resurrection of Jesus, and I never believed in miracles or anything of that nature. I believed in the laws of nature and I had to abide by them.
But after reading your spectacular book, The God Delusion, I understood that it is okay to not believe in a god, a creator, a supreme being. It just makes no sense for a god to exist in my opinion. Nowadays, the more I think about a god, or the possibility of the existence of a god, I see just howfoolish it is, and actually how remarkable it is that people can believe in something that has less proof for it than martians. At least people have reported seeing UFOs that they think are alien visitors. (No, I don't believe we are being visited by aliens either, even though there is probably life somewhere in the universe. After all, if there wasn't, that would be a huge waste of space) Where are the god sightings? If god exists, why doesn't he show us to himself. Why isn't there a Jesus in today's world who can perform miracles and show us all that a god does exist? The answer seems to be that it's because a god doesn't exist, but I won't rule that out since absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I probably won't be telling people that I am atheist, but I won't deny it if they ask. I won't tell my parents either because that will just upset them. I told my mom the other day, "I'm reading a book about reasons for why there is no god." She looks at me and says, "The man who wrote it is wrong. Because God exists." How can I argue with that?
To close off, thank you for writing this book and allowing me to finally stop holding back the rational part of me that thought for the longest time that god doesn't exist, but just didn't want to admit it to himself. I thought that if I admitted to myself in my thoughts that a god doesn't exist, I would feel weird, nasty or like an outcast. But now that I'm honest with myself, I feel so much better. I can finally stop trying to suppress the thoughts that tell me god doesn't exist and there's no way he can. I can now accept them because that is what I truly believed all along, even if I didn't want to admit it to myself.
Thank you.
-Max
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