Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1033)

Jan 30, 2013

Professor Dawkins,

Thank you for your book, The God Delusion. There is a very famous story in Mormon lore of an early convert, a fellow by the name of Parley P. Pratt, who recorded that when he first read the Book of Mormon, eating and sleeping became a burden to him until he could finish. That is an apt description of how I felt when I read your book.

Your book didn't tell me much that I hadn't already figured out for myself over the years. I have long noticed and struggled with the paradoxes of my faith and the overwhelming body of empiracle evidence against it (which we are taught it is virtuous to ignore). I especially credit the brilliant works of the anthropologist Jared Diamond for lending weight to these doubts and acting as a lead-in to more overtly atheist fare.

What your book did for me more than anything else was to help me cut through the old Mormon labels of atheists as morally bereft derelicts, heeding the whisperings of Satan, puffed up in their own pride, looking for license to indulge their every animal urge, and deserving of what's in store for them in the afterlife (I would challange you to read Alma Chapter 30 in the Book of Mormon to see what atheists in the Mormon church are up against). You helped me to hold my head high again, and for that I cannot thank you enough.

The New Testament was right about one thing, the truth really shall set you free (John 8:32).

R. MacKenzie

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