Richard Dawkins has often said that Douglas Adams was his only "convert" to being a "radical atheist". I was just wondering if any of you would list Douglas Adams as an "in turn" influencer on your road to freethought.

I for one have pretty much been a lifelong freethinker, so I can't say Douglas Adams influenced me. However, i get great joy out of his writings, both fiction and in particular non-fiction. I would say that he had a way of expressing thoughts in a way that makes you laugh at the absurdity of some beliefs. He also uses language that is accessible to anyone.

Anyone care to share their thoughts?

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I was in my mid teens when the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book was published and the world never quite seemed the same after that.

I was already an atheist but searching ineptly for some sort of meaning or purpose to our lives through a mist of hormones and confusion.

It was in reading THHGTTG that I came to the conclusion that realilty was just plain weird, that there was no purpose only reasons.

Things just are.

Growing up is about accepting it and not sticking your head in a bucket, no matter how ornate and comfy that bucket might be. Or distracting yourself by arguing with other bucket wearers about which is the one true bucket, bucket metaphysics or bucket cosmology.

And everything was OK.

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Douglas Adams


Enough said.
Well said! Mind if I steal your bucket analogy?
You may help yourself to my bucket - but I'm keeping this spade.
Don't think I'd dare tangle with a giant and his spade! :)
In a way, yes. Him and Isaac Asimov are my two favorite Science-Fiction writers. Back when I thought of myself as Agnostic, I thought it amusing that my two fav sci-fi writers had been Atheist. Reading their books got me thinking that maybe I should admit to myself that I am a non-believer. Both of them helped me realize that I can be an Atheist and a good person. :)

Oh wait, can you tell by my username? ;)
I actually started reading the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy when I was still an idio-*cough*Beliver. While reading his works, I wasn't at the point of actually thinking about my beliefs, so I don't really think he was that much of an influence to me. It was well beyond reading his works (which I still have some to finish.) that thinking actually started for me.
It's funny you should ask that...

I grew up in what I always felt was an overly religious family, but never gave it any thought beyond a general dis-satisfaction. Then, in my sophomore year at a church high-school, I found THHGTTG. And if that sounds like the beginning of a conversion story, it kind of is. Here was a writer who could take the laughably absurd and make it laughable.
That's the sort of thing that can make anyone think freely.
Thanks for starting this group. I am a big fan of Adams.

I first read THGTTG when I was in college. I grew up X-ion, but was in a period of transition, starting to form my own opinions. Although I wouldn't say that Adams' work was the sole influence on my freethinking, I must say that he helped open my eyes a bit.

Thanks again for starting the group. I'll buy the first round at the Restaurant at the end of the Universe!
Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is my favourite book.

At the age of about 9, I was introduced to the radio play on reel to reel tape, and I was hooked.

When the book was published I read it 9 times in a row, I loved it that much. I cant say Douglas Adams influenced my free thinking particularly at least not consciously, but it was great to have him along for the ride and I still keep tabs on my towel (even have one in the back of my car for emergencies!).

Also how fitting that Douglas Adams and Richard Dawkins should have been such great friends and both hold a special place in my heart for their words of wisdom and humour.
Nope, raised by Atheists. I took free thouhgt for granted. I was lucky.
for me i say yes, he didnt do the whole job but he didd open a new way of thinking of the world for me while giving me a good laugh at the same time
He actually did have an influence on me, but not through Hitchhiker's. I read the interview with American Atheist featured in the Salmon of Doubt, and was perplexed by what he said. At that time I'd probably label myself as an agnostic, but I'd been brought up to respect all religion. Douglas Adams didn't, and moreover, he made that seem reasonable, justified. I didn't become an atheist right after that, but his words were with me every time I thought about the matter.

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