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Created on May 04 2010
Dear Dr. Richard Dawkins,
When I was old enough to think about issues of human morality, I was quickly persuaded by the conservative viewpoint. To be so young, (early teens), I think I may have had the strongest opinions of all of my peers on issues of morality. A big reinforcing factor was of course the Christian religion. My parents raised me to believe in Christ but never forced me to attend church. I tried to become a regular at a few local churches, but I was unsatisfied with each. This didn't hinder my belief in God in the slightest, as I knew that they were not accurate representations of his purpose.
I finally made the decision to read the Bible - the entire Bible. I started a Genesis and slowly toiled through the Old Testament. I will admit that I skipped the "begat" genealogies. Every night, I would read a bit until I found myself completely pissed off and threw the book at the wall. Each night before I went to sleep, I picked up my Bible and continued this ritual until I had finished the book. By the time I finished I was able to see through the horrible claims.
A friend introduced me to the new religion of Wicca, which I took as my spirituality for about a year's time. Wicca is an attempt (however feeble) to reconstruct the pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe. While reading a very long ethnography covering the different Wiccan covens currently residing in the United States, I happened to pay attention to a very clever phrase, "If it works, we do it, if it doesn't, we don't do it." The subject was referring to "magic," or in psychological terms, reinforcement by self-fulfilling thought. However, I took the phrase to mean something more to me, and accepted it as my spiritual viewpoint. It still is now.
Upon entering college, my first English professor introduced me to the work of Dawkins. I can say that the logic of Atheism as he presents it is exactly what converted, de-converted, or reverted me into the radical Atheist I am today. I am grateful to Richard Dawkins for convincing me of reality. My only wish is that so many more like myself will re-evaluate their own harmful superstitions. I am currently studying Anthropology at Radford University and my far-sighted goal for my life after my education is to work for one of the many great secular educational foundations. You can expect my resume in around ten years.
Thank you,
Jeffrey Wood