To Richard Dawkins convert corner
I am now a very contented atheist. It was Richard Dawkins and his book “The God Delusion” that snapped me out of my faith trance.
I had only ever read apologetics books that defended the Catholic faith. But then I stumbled upon “The God Delusion” in an inner city Melbourne bookstore in November 2006.
“The God Delusion” shocked me into looking at faith from an angle I had never investigated. I had always been determined to prove to myself that the Protestants were wrong and the Catholics were right. Now, I was considering whether faith in God was even reasonable.
At the time of reading “The God Delusion”, I was 38 years old. I had lived under the very firm and comforting world view that I was loved and watched over by a father figure of unlimited power and influence. After reading Mr Dawkins book, I felt unnerved for quite a time and began looking for ways to discredit Richard Dawkins and his book.
I naturally went straight to Catholic websites for answers, and bought several books about the Catholic faith and God. I soon converted back to Catholicism – but this was short lived. I knew that as a result of “The God delusion” I had questions right in front of me that nobody could answer. Questions that undermined and exposed as contradictory and irrational the fundamental basis for accepting there’s a God.
I was determined for Dawkins to be wrong. Jesus, the Eucharist, the mass, the Virgin Mary, praying the Rosary – these had been staples in my world view. Such a world view is rightly or wrongly attached to a person’s identity with very strong emotional ties.
But then came Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. Their books drove home to me that atheism had by far the better arguments.
Today, I see very clearly what faith in God had been doing to me because I recognise it in others who still have very firm faith.
Faith in any God is like wearing a veil whilst in a trance. Beautiful, logical, compelling and totally satisfying explanations for how things have come to be go unrecognized when your faith says, “You don’t need to look.”
My whole outlook on life has been liberated. Whenever I hear Richard Dawkins speaking – I stop and listen. The voice of reason that liberated me has well and truly earned by respect.
Robert Simpson (an Australian convert to Atheism)