Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(922)

Jan 30, 2013

Professor Dawkins:

Compared to those of the other converts who have written in, my story is nothing special, but I'd like to thank you all the same.

I am fifteen. I was born into a deist family which does not follow a particular religion, and for that I am very grateful. However, all through my childhood (and right up to February this year), I was never quite sure what to believe. My attending a Methodist kindergarten might have expounded the problem (although, on the part of religious activity, we mostly only sang songs, learnt about the Ten Commandments, etc., thankfully). My rational mind immediately rejected the idea of a God, but another side of me thought, well, since so many people believe in God, and there's all that hype about miracles, there had to be some kind of truth in religion…right?

One fine day, I was skulking around the house looking for new books to read. I saw The God Delusion on my father's bookshelf. I found the title vaguely intriguing, so I started reading it.

Needless to say, I was stunned by the book. I was in awe of how those information-laden arguements could be delivered with such amazing simplicity and elegance, all while invoking a sense of exhilaration. By the time I finished Chapter 4, I was a firm atheist. So far, I've also read The Selfish Gene. I bought Unweaving the Rainbow and The Blindwatchmaker, as well as God is not Great, and am planning to read them.

My mother, being a deist, is one of the many who hold that religion is sacred. In fact, when I first tried to raise a few arguements presented in The God Delusion (in a perfectly polite manner, mind you), she screamed at me and said she refused to even listen to any of them – that coming from someone who doesn't even follow a particular religion. It is precisely the kind of attitude that is responsible for religion being so prevalent in the world today. I hope, however, now that she has gotten used to the idea of me fangirling – oh, what a silly word – you, that I might be able to convince her to read your books someday, and perhaps open her eyes, as they did mine.

Yesterday, a friend of an atheist friend (jokingly) chucked a pamphlet promoting Christianity to him. On the subway, the latter and I were having a good laugh reading its pompous words. Before, I might not have known what to make of it. Now, however, thanks to you, I am able to see just how arrogant religion truly is.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and best wishes for all your future ventures.

Su Gi, an atheist from Singapore


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