Dear Professor Dawkins,
I had, I suppose, steadily been whitling away at my Catholocism since I was in my late teens. The fact of us existing was a problem though, as I didn't have a real understanding of Darwinism to counter the question “how on earth does natural selection account for the eye” etcetera. I was convinced there had to be more to it than us.
You tube showcased your work very well so I would say that I was on the way to the truth by the time I read The God Delusion. It did however provide me with a set of magnificent arguments which I've been retailing ever since to anyone interested in the subject. Our copy of this book is pretty grubby now having been through many interested hands in factory lunchrooms and the like. I get a kick out of lending it – I guess I'm filled with anti-religious zeal now that I'm free from my Catholic past. I plan to make your book my standard Christmas gift – which reminds me of a personal dilema. My extended family dines together on Christmas day and I traditionally give a prayer of thanks – I really don't know what say now . . . how do you handle it?
My father died last week, free from any worries about being judged for unrepented sins. He had lived a good, long life and was quite satisfied with the thought of a complete end to it. I got a perverse pleasure at his funeral out of telling people who respected Dad that he was an Athiest when he died – the title seems to need some reabilitation. People told me that they get comfort from their Catholicism – My reply was that they should try the other option for size, free from guilt and superstition. His funeral was the first non Catholic one in our family and it beat the others hands down! We missed the incense but the lack of hipocrisy made up for that.
I love the thought of us being good because we are human, not in spite of it. It gives me hope for the future, even though the journey will be a long one. If only the web could do for truth what it has done for pornography! The world would be cured in no time.
You have inspired my thinking more than any other over my 48 years.