Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(505)

Jan 30, 2013

Mr. Dawkins,

I just recently finished reading your book The God Delusion and I must say it was very inspiring. For one, it gave me a topic for my psychology CRP (similar to a dissertation). I plan to study the harmful effects of indoctrinating (a.k.a. brainwashing) young children in religious dogma. Your book pointed out to me that I was one of these children, and although I am not yet comfortable declaring what you declare about a god, your book did move me down on the religious/atheism scale. I would say before reading, I was a 6 (pretty much agnostic but leaning towards the supernatural) and now I fall somewhere between a 3 and 4, meaning I lean towards atheism.

I was raised in a fundamental Protestant school from the age of 6 until I was 16. From the beginning I was warned that I would be going to hell if I did not believe in god and that trials and tribulations in my life were a direct act of god… punishing me, I guess, for my sins. As much as I realize the sillyness of this now, there is still some nagging fear in the corner of my mind that prevents me from completely converting to atheism, which is indeed sad. However, your book Unweaving the Rainbow has renewed my love of physics (I was studying to be a physicist at one time) and I feel that if I continue to study in depth, perhaps I will eventually be able to cut ties with the frightful god of my youth.

At any rate, I owe you a huge “thank you” not only for renewing my love of science and for re-opening my eyes to the truth of science, but also for giving me a dissertation topic. I was starting to feel panicked about not feeling passionate about any particular subject in psychology. Perhaps, eventually, I can dedicate my life to pulling the wool from others' lives and supporting them in the journey towards atheism and science. I know it has been a big journey for me, and I would love to help others cast off the fear of eternal damnation as they should have when they discovered the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Much thanks to you, good sir, and keep writing those books!

Cindy Pence

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