Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I have spent my entire life – literally – struggling to reconcile the world around me as I was TAUGHT with the world around me I just KNEW. I attended Catholic school my entire life, knew the masses by rote in both Latin and English, and always felt no connection or reconciliation between myself and this “spiritual” world I was expected to believe in. I have felt isolated, because the lessons provided moral instruction, but left my mind wanting, and everyone around me seemed content to just ACCEPT.
I have argued to people my entire life that the concept of religion was nothing more than superstitious antiquated nonsense, and that there had to be fact rather than fantasy to explain the miracles surrounding us that we call life.
This is the point where I have to confess, I have not yet read one of your books – in fact, I stumbled onto your work quite recently, through a series of documentary films and scientific articles, most recently “The God Who Wasn’t There.” I saw your recommendation of the film, and began looking into your bio.
For the first time in my entire life, I KNEW there was nothing “wrong” with the way I think and view the world. Maybe I am an example of social acclimation – the way social consciousness slowly develops, and some people intuitively grasp concepts others cannot. I have NEVER been able to reconcile myself to the idea of a supernatural creation mythos – and after extensive study devoted to anthropology, psychology and philosophy I feel I truly understand the basic human need for “purpose”, the ego-centric desire to be deemed “special”.
The ideas and principles you promote completely fill that need. We are special; we are homo sapiens, “wise men”, and that fact alone is more miracle than anyone in the world has the right to demand. I feel secure and grounded in the knowledge that my very existence is due to millions of tiny developments that led to the creation of me, and that sheer chance made me what I am. That seems pretty damn special.
Thank you for beginning this crusade of enlightenment. I can’t really call myself a “convert”, but you can count me among those willing to spread the word. Starting with my children. Here’s to their future – one I hope will be free of religion, hatred, bigotry and any other self-crippling negativity, and filled with learning, understanding and possibility.