Intellectually liberated , Converts, Tue, Jan 29 2013 #(1490)

Jan 29, 2013

Dear Mr Dawkins

In 2007 I read ‘The God Delusion’, a book which changed my life. My
parents were raised in Glasgow and accordingly were rather forcibly
indoctrinated with Catholicism. I was both Baptised and Christened as
a baby but attended church only sporadically throughout my childhood.
My parents did not force religion on me and in fact it was never
discussed at home outside of requiring that I attend church on the odd

Whilst at secondary school my parents asked me if I would like to be
confirmed and I declined, a decision that they duly respected. I have
never considered myself a Catholic but up until 2007 I told myself and
others that I was a Christian and that I believed in God.

I have always been exceptionally interested in science and leaving
sixth form I went on to study Biomedical Sciences at Durham University
graduating in 2008. During my first and second year the extent of my
faith extended solely to the ‘WWJD’ wrist band I sported twenty four
hours a day. The more I relished the intellectual challenge of science
and the immensely stimulating and wondrous answers the subject
provides about our world, nature and behaviour, I slowly began to
realise that for many years I had been subconsciously questioning my
belief. When I finally took the opportunity to question precisely what
I believed in and decided to apply the same scientific methodology I
employed every day to challenge the likelihood of there being a God, I
realised I had been indoctrinated albeit subtly.

In the summer break between my second and third year, lying on a sun
bed in Greece I read ‘The God Delusion’. Your book put into works
precisely how I felt and made sense of my world. I am not shy in
saying that the book completely changed the way I think about
everything. It not only confirmed my atheism but provided me with a
passion for intellectual analysis and an appreciation for never taking
anything at face value.

Ever since reading ‘The God Delusion’ I have been meaning to write to
you but have never taken the time. I wanted to express my unrelenting
gratitude to you for liberating my intellect from boundaries I was
unaware existed and truly opening my mind to appreciate the plethora
of wonders our world offers. For me, there is nothing more beautiful
and exciting than aiming to discover the truth and unravelling
intricately complex solutions in the process, a sentiment reflected in
the wonderful book ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’.

Your work was truly the catalyst that changed my entire life. I seize
every day and make my own opportunities, no longer hopeless to the
artificial power of a divine plan. Thank you.

Chris O’Donnell
Derby, UK

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