I may be just one of those in the mass of ordinary people who hardly ever write in to public forums like this. Certainly this is out of the ordinary for me, but I can't just sit back and be one of the "silent minority - or majority?" - -what are the statistics? -- about such a profoundly important issue as this.
I've just read "The God Delusion" which then pointed me to this website. Before, I'd been prepared to call myself privately an atheist, but never to others. If pushed, I might have said agnostic, because I couldn't marshall all the arguments why I do not believe in god. The God Delusion strips away all the wishywashy agnostic arguments. It puts together in one place all the reasons and facts why atheism, to me, is my central personal philosophy of life, and the only rational way to be and look at the world and the universe.
Like I suppose for many people, religion doesn't often come up as a subject in conversations, but, no more sitting in closets. I'm an ATHEIST. I have you, Richard, to thank very largely for that, for being comfortable with saying that. I have read all your other books over the last few years and found them all wonderfully illuminating and thought provoking.
To all those who wonder about the truth of their religious beliefs, or their agnosticism, — read Richard Dawkin's books — especially The God Delusion.
And to all those atheists in highly religious societies who have "come out" — your courage is inspiring and noble.