Dear Professor Dawkins
I am writing in response to the open invitation you have made to comment in the Convert’s Corner regarding “losing one’s religion” as a result of The God Delusion. In truth sir I had lost “religion” a long time ago but “came out” as an atheist as a result of your book.
For over thirty of my 50 years, I had tried to hold to the faith I acquired as a teen-ager. Probably what hampered me was that I actually read the bible for myself and found it to be riddled with so many contradictions it made less sense, the more I read from its pages.
The God Delusion was not the first book by you that I read but at the time I came to grips with my true thoughts; it was the best of your works. I have since purchased all of your books and have studied them closely, intermingling them with the works of Tim Berra and Jerry Coyne – as well as a number of other authors that have made the effort to clearly explain the science of evolutionary theory and biology as a whole.
In retrospect, it seems that spiritual belief is tied to ignorance. At first the idea of a god was appealing – especially to an angst filled teenager in need of a stable influence. Sadly the glow wore off and I began to understand more of life’s lessons, had ample opportunity to study the science and came to the inevitable conclusion that the religions of men were merely the stories used to explain the mysteries of primitive and ignorant men. I studied archaeology, anthropology and social science in college and found evidence that almost any world culture either promotes or has promoted a religious class among its many tiers. It saddened me to learn that gods are merely manifestations of ignorance in any incarnation. I found I missed god when I found I could no longer support a belief in such fantasy. Yet I was gladdened to learn that there were answers to be had in the ever growing volume of scientific knowledge that careful, unbiased study has revealed to the world of academia.
It was a great relief to finally let go of the shackles of self-inflicted guilt that religion had built in my mind and a joy to realize that we are merely travelers on the great journey of life resulting from the ever changing influences of the complex biological world we live in; not because some creator with foreknowledge of all the world’s events created me, but because of the random combination of two strings of genetic material combining and making a unique individual. It is liberating to not have the self-delusional pressures of having to live up to some unfathomable standards of the deity you so adequately described and abruptly degraded so adequately in the beginning of chapter two of your book THE GOD DELUSION.
I challenge any religious person to provide so excellent an explanation that argues for the existence of a supreme being as sufficiently as you argued against such a being. Your book was the final push I needed to make the break from religion. It enabled me to finally cease lying to myself and others about what I knew could not be true.
There is no god, but there is provable science and that is adequate enough. Thank you for your book and the efforts you put forth to end that mental disease we call religion.