I'm 21 and have been an atheist for roughly 4 years. I was brought up in a family that went to church and I have been baptised, though no one in my family was strictly religious; it was a social thing. I never really 'believed' in any of it but could never put my thoughts across in conversation. I used to have long discussions with my best friend (then a devout Christian who was much more intelligent and articulate than myself) and was left exasperated and confused.
I read 'The God Delusion' at University and it was a fascinating experience. It clarified so much for me and gave me perspective and, most importantly, the language with which I could express my feelings on the whole spectrum of religion.
I am currently re reading the book after a discussion with another good friend who happens to be Christian. She was so incensed by what she had read in 'The God Delusion' (and particularly Dawkins personally) and I was sure she'd gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick. So I picked up the book again and look forward to the arguments revival.
I was actually reading it on the train today and a stranger asked me if it was a good book. Surprise, surprise he was a Christian and we spent the train journey (and, a little worrying, much of the walk back to my house). It transpired he was a Creationist and not a particularly sharp one at that. 'Delusion' fresh in my head, I was able to argue my points and take pride in my position. I've never known a person avoid a point so many times in one ten minutes conversation.
I wanted to write this note to express my gratitude for Richard Dawkins' book(s) for giving me the language and confidence to understand my atheism and argue for it.