Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1126)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,

As a young child and into my early teen years, I was a Roman Catholic. I was baptized, went to church, went to Sunday school, prayed, believed fervently. However, when my older brother died in a tragic accident, my faith began to wane. I would pray to God and ask him why he took my beloved brother, but he would never answer. Eventually I stopped going to church and my belief became a flat neutral. I didn't believe, I didn't not believe. Then I decided to open “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, and needless to say the book and the Theory have changed my life forever. I was an Atheist everafter, including years before I picked up The God Delusion. However, I wasn't “really” an Atheist until I read The God Delusion. Now I am able to interpret Darwin's brilliant Theory as nothing other than fact, there is no question in my mind and hopefully some day the majority of the population of the World won't have a doubt about the veracity of Evolution, either.

I know now that Religion is something the World does not need to function. Without it, everything we currently enjoy in this World would be improved, and things we have been deterred and blocked from by Religion (such as stem cell research and free thought) will be allowed and advanced for the betterment of Mankind. I felt a sense of fulfillment which I have never experienced before when I put down The God Delusion. For the first time, I was able to realize that the tragedy in my life, and all the tragedies or successes of me or anyone else…were not the results of Divinity or Divine Providence. Some of these events we cause ourselves (for which we should rightly take responsibility other than ask forgiveness to a Deity), and some of them simply happen by chance or circumstance. A world that is defined by hope and faith in the Scientific truth, rather than the fairy tales, legends, dogma, and complete obserdity of Religion…is a world I would truly love to live in.

I believe The God Delusion, Letter To A Christian Nation, Why God Is Not Great, The End of Faith, and many other such books…are the spark of an intellectual revolution. Until I found the wisdom and Science of your works and Darwin's elegant and wonderous Theory of Evolution…all I could do is cope with a God who seemed to ignore me all my life. For any success I would acheive, and for any suffering I would endure…the Lord was never there. I find it ironic that Religion, which can suck so much money and time out of an individual…offers no real consolation whatsoever. The parallel to that being Science, which asks no money of you and offers the deepest explanation and satisfaction an individual could ever ask for. This book proved to me that the alternative to the money-hungry, ruthless, powerful, and controlled-thinking establishment of Religion, where your only option is to weep and hope and beg to a God who will never answer or console or comfort you…is a Scientific truth more beautiful than anything any human mind, or any other mind for that matter…could ever possibly appreciate enough. I am proud to say I am an Atheist today. I can't thank you enough, Professor Dawkins.

Sincerely,

Ethan Hawthorne
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