I have always been an atheist. I was raised by Christian parents and had siblings that were also believers but I essentially gave up my belief in God and Santa Claus at the same time. We lived on a farm and I observed that the visible evidence was that animals had sex, made babies, grew old and died and that no supernatural forces were involved at any stage in the cycle of life.
I have subsequently read and enjoyed several of Richard's books and am looking forward to reading The God Delusion. I recommend Richards books to any theists that I meet whom are prepared to discuss their beliefs.