I have to thank you Mr. Dawkins for writing such a wonderful book that is The God Delusion. While it did not convert me to atheism, it did provide me with a conrete foundation for the beliefs I have held since I was a teenager.
My story begins when I emigrated from Poland at the tender age of eleven, while at the time it was a traumatic experience for me, I now realize it was the beginning of a transformation. For the first time in my life I saw there were other religions besides Roman Catholic. This experience sowed little seeds of revolution in my mind, I was still an ardent RC, but it also made me wonder about differences between religions and the causes of said differences.
I became a lector at my church at the age of twelve, and for the next four years I read the scriptures during mass almost daily. At the age of sixteen something started bothering me, something in those writings stirred doubt in me. At first they were little pangs of enlightment (something like a lightbulb above my head), but slowly I realized that the readings from the same Apostle had quite a few distinct writing styles. At first I attributed it to the fact that different people had translated different parts of the texts. Fortunately a priest at the church had informed me that St. Paul, or St. Peter or any other apostle for that matter, may not have written what was attributed to him. Wow! This revelation begged a question: How can we believe something written by a person about whom we have absolutely no information? Did this person have any hidden agendas? Did St.Paul really say all those things he (according to the book) said? The questions started to roll from there. This little revelation led me to question the entire Bible, and my own beliefs.
At the age of seventeen I became an atheist. I wonder what my mother (an almost fanatical believer) would say if she knew that by buying me books instead of toys, and by forcing me to go to church, that because of that I became a freethinking atheist. I don't think she is ready for that piece of information. I am now a 26-year old private in the US Army who is happy that his mind is free. I bought The God Delusion at the Post Exchange because I was bored and wanted something to read. I believe this is what they call serendipity.