Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1045)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,

I was raised Roman Catholic and for the vast majority of my life, I subscribed to the -might I say- rather complex rigors of that faith. I did however love my grandfather, and can say he was the father figure in my life. He was a fervent Atheist, and it troubled me how a man so strong in his convictions of morality could operate without the divine creator dictating his good actions. My grandfather's death prompted me to scramble for a way to justify his acceptance into heaven, though by all rights, this man was destined for eternal hellfire. Well that did not sit right with me. How could a great man who served his country [Canada] in the Second World War, loved his wife and family with a great passion, and raised me to the man I am be sent to hell just for not believing in God? It was not only unfair, it was insulting to his memory.

Thus my quest began. I sought out reasons to get my grandfather in to heaven (If only Pope Leo X was still around, I could have paid my grandfather's way through indulgences!). But one day, a very simple thought struck me. If God did not exist, my grandfather was a man who lived a good, successful life. He was a man I admired and loved, and through his memory, I can pass on some of his better traits.

I have now just received my Bachelor of Education and am going in to be teaching History and English. My science and mathematics are lacking, so I have taken up the pursuit of armchair scientist to shore up my dismal knowledge in both subjects. You books have been a great resource to my studies, especially The God Delusion. Not only has it provided me with a tremendous bibliography of other works for me to move on to, its provocative, insightful and witty presentation brings home for me what it is to be human. My grandfather would have loved your book, as I loved your book. I am happy to say that The God Delusion was the final straw that broke the camels back in my already wavering belief in an omnipotent deity.

As a school teacher, I demand my students to back up their arguments with evidence (their grades depend on it). Any teacher must do such a thing, but your books have excited a greater passion for me to go out and see for myself the answers to life's questions. My students are now subject to this passion and I know they will benefit from it. Thank you for your insights Professor. I have heard rumors of you writing a children's book. I look forward to it sitting on my desk along side The God Delusion.

Regards,

Barry

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