Dear Professor Dawkins,
I was raised Catholic and I was what I would consider a devout Catholic up to my late teens. All the while, though, through my childhood I also had a passion for science and I questioned everything.
As I matured I maintained my sincere and sure belief in God, while searching for answers to questions that the Catholic church, or any other church for that matter, could not answer, such as why did Jesus have to die for our sins? After all, if God was all powerful, couldn’t he just forgive them?, and other questions such as these. I even converted to Islam in my 40’s believing I had found a religion that was “closer” to the truth.
I soon became disillusioned with Islam because, just like Catholicism, there was always a sense of inadequacy because I never felt like I was living up to what God expected of me.
Throughout all this, I had never lost my love or passion for science. I think a turning point for me, philosophically at least, came when I read an excellent biography of Albert Einstein. He had always been a hero of mine. I even did a science paper on relativity in 8th grade which baffled not only the students in my class, but I think, the teacher as well.
I started reading more and more science books, especially books about quantum and string theory. I became fascinated with the true nature of the universe, this time from a scientific perspective instead of a religious one.
Around this time I became exposed to the Skeptical movement. The articles, blogs and podcasts I read and listened to led me to begin reading your books. I started with The Greatest Show on Earth and I am currently reading The God Delusion.
Your beautifully presented arguments for evolution and against theism were the tipping point for me and lead me to finally abandon the last vestiges of theism that I’d been clinging to.
I feel a great sense of freedom that I’ve never felt before. I feel like there is nothing holding me back from exploring and understanding life and trying to make the best of it.
I have become committed spreading the concepts of humanism, freethinking, and freedom from the coercion of theism. I have begun blogging about these issues on my blog, http://freethinkingfordummies.com. I hope that I can, in my small way, help others think critically and rationally about the world they live in.
You are a great inspiration to me and continually inform my thinking and my writings. I often quote from your works to support my arguments on my blog. I want to thank you for your talent, your unwavering commitment to speaking the truth, and most of all, your great humanity, decency and dignity.