I read The God Delusion. It should be noted that this was at school after my parents said that it would not be allowed in their house. The teacher that is partially responsible for my skepticism and scientific knowledge, and ultimately atheism, which naturally followed, came to my aid again by giving me a place to store the book. I'll fondly and gratefully remember him and others who have contributed to my freedom through enlightenment for the rest of my life.
Richard Dawkins is one of those people. Before reading his book, I considered myself secular agnostic. I thought that we could not know for certain about deities, given the nature of them. This, however, was more of a philosophical safety net. I found it more likely that there was no god of any sort, except(what I was unaware of at the time was) the Einsteinian one, or the collective forces of nature. This however, didn't seem like it should be called God.
Not far into the book, I discovered that I was actually an atheist- a six on the seven- point scale, formerly about a five. De facto atheism, I found, was my stance. Further, I found explanations for things I had never considered. It cleared muddy water and enlightened me further, not to imply that I have found or ever will find a stopping place to declare my knowledge enough and further inquiry unnecessary.
The book was inspiring. Before, I saw atheism as an extreme label. Now, it is positive. I understand what it is and what it involves, thanks to Professor Dawkins and his noble efforts. I'm off the fence, for sure. I'm happy to be an atheist.
I didn't lose a thing, except in the same sense that a cancer patient loses their cancer or a sick person loses their cold or flu.
I gained a magnificent worldview grounded in reality. I gained a better understanding of science and the forces that drive the universe and life. I gained a greater peace in my identity. I gained, and tremendously. I look forward to the future and celebrate the beauty of the present. I hope to be a part of a progressive society.
Thank you, Richard Dawkins, for being a lamp and a motivator. Thank you for all your work for the cause of science. Thank you for your inspirational atheism.