I wasn't sure whether to address you as Dr. Dawkins or Professor Dawkins, so I hope you won't think it inappropriate to address you by your first name, since I am writing to you to express my gratitude for the time and patience you have taken in writing your books to share your love of science with the world. Also, I wanted you to know this isn't hate mail and that I consider you a friend. :)
I was born and raised in the city of Jacksonville, Florida in the U.S.. My parents raised me in a southern baptist church and I was never really encouraged to think for myself. I was taught that christianity was the right religion and every other religion was false.
Once I finished school and was no longer under my parents' influence, I began to read all the books that had always wanted to read but either never did, never could, or would have been discouraged from reading.
I am 28 years old and I am currently reading both The God Delusion and The Greatest Show On Earth. Even before I started reading them, I could never really call myself a Christian because I didn't want to associate myself with the dark side of my religious faith.
Once I began reading your book about evolution and understood the basic principle, it was like someone turned a light on in a hallway that had been darkened for 28 years. For a few years I had subscribed to the gap theory of the biblical account of creationism, which neither states that the Earth is 6000 years old or that dinosaurs walked with man, so I had little difficulty in shunning the biblical account of creation altogether. However, my increasing understanding of evolution led to a relational decrease in the way I perceived God could work in the world, even though I still believed in the Christian God.
The turning point came yesterday when I watched your interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
How do you reconcile what you know about the natural laws of the world - which, God may have created - with what you believe about the miracles of Christ, specifically his resurrection? If God created the laws of science, then how does he perform miracles? Obviously some bending of the rules would have to be made, which doesn't make God a very good lawmaker.
The point was that I could no longer fully believe in Christ's resurrection as a bending of the laws of science with God as the creator of those laws. If not impossible, it would be highly improbable. Another light in the darkened hallway was turned on. No resurrection, no Christian faith.
I still believe there may be a God, but certainly not the Christian God, and I cannot as of yet call myself an athiest or agnostic, although in my disgust of labels I don't know that I would. The point is, you have helped me on the path to a free mind.
I want to thank you for both taking the time to read this letter, and for encouraging and inspiring people to be free thinkers in a world blinded and poisoned by religion. I hope to one day meet you in person and shake your hand, sir. You have changed my life for the better. Thank you very, very much.
I see evolution by natural selection as far more awe-inspiring than any miracle God could perform. I can stand in nature and see the amazing design that took 4.6 billion years to evolve and say "Wow, God, you really created some fantastic laws."
It is, therefore, completely unnecessary to me for God to perform miracles to show off how great He is, because the way the world works is already miraculous.
There is also no evidence to suggest that human beings are the final goal of evolution. There is a mountain of evidence that says we are most certainly not the end product. The existence of our species occupies only the last hour in the cosmic year. There is therefore no reason for me to believe that we are more important than any other species, and therefore, not special enough to need the Son of God as our savior or for him to perform miracles. If anything, all life is equally important to God.
I'm not saying what is written in the bible never happened, I'm just saying it isn't necessary.