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Created on May 04 2010
Dear Richard,
For many years I have been at odds with my beliefs and my self-education. My siblings and I were fond of watching the Discovery Channel and reading about biology and evolution as elementary school children. It is a common family story about how my sister and I scared off a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses at the ages of 7 and 8 by detailing the Big Bang Theory and all of evolution in a fierce debate with them. Opposite of my own beliefs, my has always been a very devote Christian while my father attended Catholic school as a child though he is more of a deist than a Catholic.
My family's tendency toward knowledge but dedication to religion confused me and spurred my quest for answers. From age 12 to 17, I designated myself as agnostic (or TAP as your book entails) due to my inability to pinpoint my beliefs. I willingly attended church with my friend and simultaneously read and studied biology, archeology, and scientific literature. I was mostly an atheist except I could not definitely explain the ubiquity and concrete nature of religion in society. Why were people so drawn to religion?
It wasn't until listening to one of your lectures online that I became fully convinced that god does not exist. My family and mother especially were wary of my decision and still attempt to convert me back. Nevertheless, my beliefs are sound and are spreading in my family. In one 8 minute discussion with my 12 year old brother, I changed his beliefs from staunch Christian (though he never fully read or understood the bible; he only believed what my mother had told him of course) into an agnostic by only asking him questions in a Socratic teaching style. I hope that I have made him skeptical of anything he hears whether it is religious or not.
I want to thank you so much for your insight and I wish the best of luck in your enlightening.
Victoria Soler
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