Dear Professor Dawkins,
I've just read your book, “The God Delusion”, and it led me on to the website.
I am now a firm atheist although I was raised a Catholic. My indoctrination was never that severe, though I was encouraged to go to mass and take part in religious events at my (Catholic) primary school, and as a consequence I believed in the sanitised “Good God” of the New Testament.
It was only on going to high school (again a Catholic institution, but with a larger number of sceptics and atheists than I think they wanted to realise) that I started to learn about the natural world in any depth. I studied Biology and Chemistry from my third year (not sure how that equates to the English system, sorry) at Scottish Standard Grade level, and then went on to Higher and Advanced Higher courses in my fifth and sixth years.
Because of a hard start to my high school career I was already sceptical about the existence of a God (no salvation or answered prayers), and as I moved through school this scepticism became agnosticism, then full blown atheism. I found it hard to realise how anyone with even my basic knowledge of biology could even think about believing something like intelligent design. I did cling on to my faith for a little while however while I was still sceptical, probably more to do with a skewed sense of loyalty than anything else. I am now proud to be an atheist and secular, and I think (or believe, even) that nobody should be afraid to be true to themselves instead of a religion because the belief is expected of them. I have just, in the last few minutes, actually sent a letter to the local bishop asking to be removed from the church records in case I am still considered a member.
I am now looking forward to going to university and studying to become a doctor with only my own rationality and judgement to rely on.
As it should be.
Thanks for confirming what a lot of us already believed, and for landing another few converts as well…
All the best atheists!
Alex Leitch (Scotland)