Dear Professor Dawkins.
I do not know how I can express the feeling that you brought back to
my senses by your intelligence. If I was a theist I would be tempted
to liken you to a “divine being”, but you stress the fact of not being
tempted to liken intelligence to anything “supernatural”, rather
understand it for what it is, human.
I'm a 27 year old man, born and bread in South Africa, a colonized
state with a belief system mostly based on catholic missionary legacy.
My personal affiliation was with the Church of England, Anglican
Church. There I was trapped, stuck, depressed and confused in the mist
of mythical ideas, theories and beliefs that seem to be satisfying and
comforting to the other affiliates. Questions based on reality which I
avoided pushed me to the urge of my thinking. Occasional and sometimes
overdone intoxication seemed to suspend the overflow for a those
thoughts for a moment.
Logically, the horizon of such an existence is unsatisfactory to all
who seem to bother the breathing space under the sun. Perhaps my
disorganized thirst of philosophy was exaggerated, I wondered. I have
recently learned that a state of doubt (TAP: The God Delusion) is
acceptable when temporal, but one can't base his/her entire existence
in doubt with regards to essential knowledge that one needs to live a
satisfactory and organized life.
Being disordered, dissatisfied, suspicious, frustrated, untrusting and
fearful is an awkward position to be in. What perplexed me mostly was
noticing most people seem to be enjoying the life ride, little did I
know about their permanent state of doubt (PAP: The God Delusion),
“unquestioned authority” or “turtles all the way down” centered way of
life. I have always felt somehow different and real in my general
approach to life. Somehow I lost my grip in the mist of belief. Truth
has always been my focus in making important decisions in life. With
an unshaken belief system this is almost impossible. Foolishly I
unconsciously bought into the “unquestionable authority” which brought
a deep sense of distraction and treachery in my life. Even though it
was unconscious, my neurology and nervous system could not accept
these big walls.
The idea of “unquestioned authority” retarded the emergence of my
young adult life, this idea made me weak as I could not be honest with
myself. I became a victim of all sorts of psychotic individuals,
beliefs and ideas. I've noticed some people genuinely embrace the idea
of “unquestioned authority” or “supernatural epiphany” which brings a
surplus of answers to life. This just does not work for me, instead it
drives me to the baffled state that I stated earlier. I've always
considered myself a freethinker but not an atheist due to fear of the
I do not seek group solidarity is the atheist communities, but it
feels good to know there are people whom you share a common
perspective of life. I'm a typical cat example in the metaphor of
heading cats. I strongly believe that small atheist groups are
beneficial to individuals rather than a big atheist organization that
might spoil the entire idea of freethinking. Thanks again for being a
champion of freethinking and of Science.
“you've got to rage against the dying of the light!”