Dear Prof. Dawkins,
My name is Michael, I’m a 25 years old chemistry student from Germany and I became resonable at the beginning of 2010.
The change began when two friends of me questioned my belief. They said there was no evidence. I should only believe in real data. Asking me how I could believe in theses things I could only give lame answers like “It’s true for me” and that I have my “personal evidence”, which seemed fishy and unconvincing even to me back then. If they had better arguments (like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Carl Sagan) they might have swayed me back then. But on the other hand I was a religious crackpot so I might be wrong.
I certainly didn’t believe in the story about Noah’s Ark or Adam and Eve and this story with Jesus just seemed too good to be true… In retrospect, I now realize that I tried to brainwash myself by believing that a truly omnipotent being COULD walk over water and HAVE the healing touch and create a column of fire for days. By telling this to myself I hoped it would become real…or something. I prayed once every day but nothing ever happened (big surprise there). A friend of mine who studied theology and philosophy (and now knows absolutly nothing about anything as a consequence) is a fundametal christian who believes the bible is the infallible word of god and the only thruth always talked to me about how “everything is real”. A fairy tale or a dream was supposedly just as real as the real life. He made me read the bible and when I asked questions about the cruelties and contradictions he evaded which I didn’t notice back then. He brainwashed me. Full knowing. And I am not happy about that.
I finally started thinking. I stumbled on a Lawrence Krauss lecture on YouTube “A Universe from nothing”, which facinated me. And I saw Richard Dawkins introducing him (whom I thought to be offensive when I saw “The Enemies of Reason”). I bought the God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth. I Found an atheism blog, which picked apart all the usual theistic arguments about atheists and the existence of god, morals etc. I’ve heard many of those arguments from delusional people since then. It’s always the same.
To exist in a time together with people who are not happy with letting religion stand as it is and questioned it, research it and show what an appaling impact it has on humanity is great. I read God is not Great (which made me angry about religion), then Modern Science Writing (which made me see the beauty of all of science), The Deamon Haunted World (which helped to clarifiy how and why people make stuff like religion up) and many more. For the first time in my life I am really hungry for knowledge and try to read as much as I can.
I’m much happier now. It became clear to me what a burden the notion of an invisible ceiling cat watching me masturbate had on me. How it influenced my judgment about homosexuals, sex, right and wrong etc. How it made me discriminate people and still made me think I was a better person for it. Religion makes good people do evil deeds. It’s so true.
I came to Mülheim an der Ruhr to see RD live and he even agreed to have a picture take with me (although he was already tired from signing a gazillion of books). Thanks a lot for that!. Now I have one with him and one with Peter Atkins.
I watched The Enemies of Reason again and no longer think Prof. Dawkins was or is offensive in any of his videos. He is merely clearly expressing well articulated criticism and asking honest questions. It is just the religious mind which sees every criticism as instantly offensive.
When I talked to my fundamentalist friend and told him about evolution and the Big Bang and everything he said it is all just extrapolation. We can’t know whether radioactive decay or the speed of light is the same now as it was in the past. He was talking bullshit. The same bullshit as always, but now I finally see it as it is. He says the people that got killed in the bible all deserved it. God had a reason… It is truly a delusion. He is just making up this stuff as he talks.
I will never blindly believe anything without evidence ever again.
Thank you Mr. Dawkins. From now on I will always help the cause of reason and science whenever I can.