my name is Jordan Robert Wilson, I am 18 years old, from the UK and I would like to explain how your efforts to promote rationality and reason have affected me personally.
As I write this, it is the 4th July 2011. I was raised in an atheist family, which, in hindsight, was extremely fortunate for me. I dabbled with the idea of religion for a while, even going as far as to convert at some points. I would like to explain these experiences.
At the end of last year, I became interested in religion quite heavily. I was particularly interested in Islam, which was unusual, considering that my family had always been atheist. I eventually converted to Islam and visited the local mosque and such, and they were very kind. However, again in hindsight, I see how unfortunate and misguided those people were and still are. They were selling books which claim that evolution is false! Of course, at the time, I didn’t know much of evolution, so I accepted it, blindly (a very religious reaction). However, I decided that I didn’t truly believe in Islam. I was literally only there out of curiosity. I didn’t disbelieve as such, I just felt unsure.
Then, after becoming irreligious which I had been for most of my life, I gained an interest in Japan and converted to Shinto (although, it isn’t really converting. As much as I think that religion is detrimental, those oriental religions are much less so than the Abrahamic ones). After realising that I didn’t truly believe this, either, I decided that I should do some research, and returned to being irreligious. Then, my wonderful girlfriend purchased a book for me. That book was The God Delusion, written by one of my inspirations in life. After reading it and understanding that religion is detrimental to the world, I decided that atheism, actual disbelief, was my only logical choice. However, in the past few weeks, I have experienced some setbacks. However, after reminding myself of the messages in your books, I have recovered from these setbacks stronger-minded than ever. These setbacks had continued until my reminding myself of your incredible work. After reminding myself, which was today, I had no doubt about it. I couldn’t allow these minor hiccups throw me back into religion. Not when rationality is so much more valuable and factual. These setbacks were mainly based on the fact that I hadn’t really seen two sides of the story, only your side. Then, today, I remembered – there aren’t two sides! Your side, atheism, is the only logical and reasonable conclusion to come to. I had thought that, although you are somebody I aspire to be like and admire, I should read other works as well, which have good arguments. But there aren’t any good arguments for creationism. It’s as simple as that. I never doubted the fact of your works, I just decided that I should look at all options (by reading creationist books). I tried that, and I realised that creationism has no place in a rational person’s mind.
In short, today, Richard Dawkins, I made a decision, thanks to you. I am an atheist. I have read The God Delusion, The Greatest Show On Earth, The Selfish Gene, and then most of The Extended Phenotype – in that order. But now I am going to start again, from The Selfish Gene, with my newly opened mind, and progress through your books chronologically. I own all of them now, and I am proud to say that I am a Dawkinite/Dawkinian/Dawkinist.
Thank you, Richard Dawkins. You truly did convert me to the truth.
Jordan Robert Wilson.