I don’t know if this would qualify me as a “Richard Dawkins convert”, but perhaps I can give credit to you for affirming my decision to abandon the belief system I lived by for over 30 years. I was a “born-again” Christian since the age of 11. Despite the commitment I had towards that faith, I was always one to question everything. Of course, that questioning often led to periods of confusion, guilt, and more questions and then, more often than not, some inspirational sermon, some emotional experience or whatever, would somehow make it seem OK that there weren’t necessarily ever going to be the answers to the questions I had, but “that’s what faith was all about, right?”
As a magician for the past couple decades, one truth did become constant for me and that was this: just because you can’t find an explanation for something, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t exist. I was (and still am) amazed that in this day and age there are still people (albeit in the minority), who will sooner believe that a magician’s ability to perform a trick is due to his control of the supernatural rather than an act of sleight of hand. That realization was the beginning of my own self coming to a partial understanding as to how religions began in the first place.
A short while ago, I purchased “The God Delusion”. This book has done wonders in re-affirming my new way of looking at the world. That said, I am still somewhat of a “closet convert”. Several months ago, I mustered the courage to tell my wife. I was honestly afraid the news would hurt our marriage, but I couldn’t stand to keep a secret from the one I truly loved. Surprisingly, it hasn’t hurt our marriage, although it has certainly altered the way we discuss moral issues, etc. I’ve also “come out” to a best friend of the past 32 years, but aside from my wife and friend, perhaps out of fear for losing some other good friends, I have remained in the Atheist closet (for now).
Richard Dawkins, I am thankful for your tenacity and your unapologetic approach in attempting to demonstrate to the superstitious spectators how the “trick” is actually performed.