Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(785)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Sirs/ Madam:

I wanted to write and tell you about my path to atheism. While I was raised roman catholic, I was always a skeptic about religion but never about god. At university, I investigated the usual suspects of “eastern” religious philosophy and found them just as wanting as christianity. But I still couldn't or wouldn't let go of god (apologies to J. Sweeney). I thought I had to keep searching (albeit in a very lackadaisical fashion) for a proper religion to fit my belief in a god. But that all changed in 2007.

On July 10th, 2007, I donated my former left kidney to a stranger who, as of this writing, I have never met. He and I were a perfect match on all levels of compatibility. I had thought about becoming a living donor for sometime and decided I needed to take action before I got too much older (36 at the time). This decision was not made lightly, but I will never regret it. There was a feeling of 'maybe that's really why we're here' after I did this (along with a little pain).

One of the book I read during my convalescence was The God Delusion by Dr. Dawkins. I had started the book before but had lost it in the shuffle of other things I was reading. Now I started again and devoured it. When I reached the part about empathy and genetics, I begun to realize god wasn't necessary. But the end of the book, I was finally ready to part way with this mystical idea and embrace the beauty and responsiblity of a scientific world. Thank you again, Dr. Dawkins.

The person to whom I donated is still doing well. Our transplant coordinator always says there must have been someone special guiding our being paired up. I just smile and think 'it's all in the genes'.

Dalton R. Pownell


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