Dear Mr Dawkins,
I want to thank you for enlightening me on evolution and making me give up religion. Ten years ago, when I was 20, I remember watching VCD’s which came with a newspaper, which was made by Harun Yahya, telling that evolution is a lie and there’s absolute truth in God. And I was feeling warm and comfortable. I remember it so well, it was like being in a warm tub, thinking about my days in heaven after I die.
But as years passed, I started realising just like evolution (as they claimed), the religion also had holes in itself. I was also wondering, if evolution is such non-sense, why the leading countries like Europe or USA take it and accept it, and only third world countries deny it. Meanwhile, the conservative Islamic party in Turkey had seized power and people were being choked slowly with the abuse of religion. It even came down to a point where some leaders claimed you can’t have religion and be secular at the same time, you have to choose one. They also used the legendary Turkish leader Atatürk’s speech where he said: “We should run the country with logic and knowledge, not based on a book which was claimed to have come from the sky” to discredit him and to force to choose either religion or Atatürk. So I started reading the holy book of Islam, and saw a few paragraphs which were not discussed with us Turkish Muslims, like beating your women if she disobeyed you, cutting the hands of a thief, beating a woman with a stick if she does adultery, and beheading anyone who is against god. Not to mention the smal stuff, like the witness credibility of women are lower than men, women has less right of inheritence than man, or the man can have four wives. Until that day I always thought they were just accusations made by Christians or atheists, and I never even cared to look it up myself. Then I knew, many other believers didn’t bother to look at the Turkish version of the book themselves. To test it out, I copied and pasted a sentence right from the holy book, which was saying: “you will be given young girls with breasts and glasses of wine” about heaven. To my amazement, a quite religious girl was first to comment on it, saying: “which pervert wrote this?”
But this was my actual turning point; a video of Richard Dawkins making fun of the stupid mistakes Harun Yahya made in his Atlas of creation. We, secular Turks already hated Harun Yahya for his felonies and for being mentally unbalanced. But we also saw Darwin and Dawkins as evil people who try to take people out of religion. I never knew Dawkins was an ACTUAL SCIENTIST. I being an astronomer myself, was amazed how logical he was talking and how much he made sense. For the first time in this argument, I didn’t have to “find logic” in someone’s speech, cause it was logical by itself. That single video made me start wondering. What if they were always lying to us to keep us under control? I bought the original English version of “the God delusion” and after that “The greatest show on earth”. I finished the “god delusion” and I’m in the middle of “greatest show”. I realised we have been fed with filthy lies over and over and over. I was wondering how Harun Yahya could survive against science. I got my answer after visiting his site: delibirately lying to people. Like “scientist could never find a single fossil which was intermediate”, or “Atheists are selfish evil people who care about nobody but themselves”. Oh-my-god. You may be wondering how can these people lie so much and still keep making huge money with religious scams. Because PEOPLE NEVER ACTUALLY CHECK IF HE’S TELLING THE TRUTH! This is our problem, and it will always be.
Recently the conservative government is trying to push a set of laws which will give them even more power on the judging system. And I witnessed a person trying to convince an old man into voting “yes”. I heard him using the word “god god god religion god god religion” like a million times. And the laws have nothing to do with religion. He just wants the man to vote yes because the party is “the party of religion”.
Until now, Turks were fairly good with their religion, not letting bigotry get in the way. But with this conservative government, we can see bigots on TV everyday, finding a way to use religion against whatever agenda they have. If they want to oppose the army they go with “army has no religion, they are planning to bomb the mosques”, or the opposing party not being religious, or similar stuff against Ataturk, or against anything they wish.
Now that I know what REALLY evolution is, I keep telling it to everyone (who’s willing to understand) and science actually does conflict with religion because the Abrahamic religion claim all organisms were created as they are now, and recently, and there are no “proto-humans”, which were all proven to be wrong. Besides, there are some impossible claims, like “fitting a couple from all the animals in the world, into a 300ft x 500ft ship” (of course whoever wrote that didn’t know there are so much more animals in the world than just camels, horses, dogs, cats, etc)
And everybody is asking, why so many people have religion if it’s not true. I read your assumption (that’s it’s a misfired love). I have a different assumption, that we people, are smart and selfish animals. We NEED to believe there is an afterlife, or else there’s no meaning in living, so we don’t need to reproduce, or do anything at all for next generations. Besides, if I were sick, and 8 professors told me I had cancer and I’m gonna die in a year, and 2 regular doctors told me that I’m gonna live, I would believe in the 2 regular doctors. I would. This is me being a human. So of course, people are gonna believe they are gonne live forever. And they will keep on closing their eyes as much as needed to keep believing. But not me. I’m not one of them.