November 20, 2016 Hello again Normal Bob Smith, I just wanted to send you a quick thank you. I happened to be one of the many many people who sent you "hate" mail 10+ years ago. I was 16 sending you myspace messages about how real God is and how wrong you are. I randomly thought about the time I sent you those messages and googled my way to find and read them and of course they're more ridiculous than I remembered. I came to terms with being an atheist about 6 years ago now and I honestly think messaging you 10+ years ago was a beginning to my questioning. You ended the last message with "I'm glad you're at least thinking about all this stuff. That's what got me started questioning, and eventually led me to what I believe today" and it's crazy how right you were. Anyway, reading back at those messages, you could have easily shrugged those messages off and replied back "hail satan. see you in hell kid.", which may have been funny. I think what really struck me back then was how calm, collect, and informed you responded and I wasn't expecting your messages to actually make me think. So yeah, I'm 25 now and becoming atheist years ago was one of the best things that ever happened to me, so thanks for responding to a 16 and making him think. Take Care, Brian
Well that's pretty amazing. Now if I'm correct I never got a response from you after that final long letter I sent. I'm curious what sort of reaction you had to that letter about Koko the talking gorilla and me taking back evolution to single celled parents and their babies. Or did 16 year old Brian see the length of it and just skip it? I'm also curious, can you put your finger on what finally changed your mind and swayed you to atheism. I'd love to see a picture of you now if you don't mind. I plan to post this on my site if you don't mind. Thank you! Normal Bob
It's hard to remember exactly 10 years back but I know I read the last message and took it serious. I just don't think I was ready to start seriously questioning everything I ever believed yet. I think when I was 16, it didn't even come across my mind that I could be wrong and it's easy to pass off every scientific explanation as "God is so powerful that we just can't comprehend how he's working". What led me to come to terms with atheism wasn't so much an overnight decision but just 4+ years of doubts and questioning along with simply getting older. I grew up in a small conservative town where every kid was involved in a church and as I left and got involved in different communities, my mind just opened up to other points of view. There is one odd moment though that I give some credit to which seems pretty random now. I came across this image of an uncontacted south american tribe aiming a bow and arrow at a plane flying overhead. Something about this image and story really hit me with the amount of diverse people that are currently living and have lived on earth. If even today there are tribes aiming arrows at a plane, showing how out of touch they are with the modern world, how can I assume that the God I believe in is the only answer. The world is so much bigger than each of us individually and to think that every single member of every non-christian tribe since the beginning of time is in hell for not knowing about the Christian God, couldn't be more ignorant. Even though there are now countless reasons I don't believe in a God, I do think that realization was one of my turning points. I was watching "Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life" by Richard Dawkins yesterday and when he started reading his hate mail, that's what reminded me of my 'burn in hell, normal bob!!' messages. Whoops. Brian
Now I’m not one to brag, but after going back through Brian’s and my 2006 conversation I’m impressed with my responses. I didn’t remember it being this good!
Also, here’s that Richard Dawkins video he mentioned.