I have a background in European Literature/Philosophy. I had a brief flirtation with Faith when I was 12, mainly due to the reasoned arguments of an R.E. teacher far more learned than myself. Didn't take long for that to dissipate, and as soon as I studied at university I found some real doubts surfacing. The enlightenment philosophy sparked a raft of potential answers in me. Coming from a point of view of empirical evidence, i even acceded to Rousseau's notion of natural religion. The French existentialists further strengthened my view that Man is the master of his own destiny, thus negating the need for any external influence, fuelling the libertarian view that morals are a matter of conscience. I even subjected myself to the rancours of the Christian Union in an attempt to find answers. I found none, indeed when i challenged members of this group to justify their beliefs in a logical and rational manner, they failed. I did however meet some enlightened people who had at least thought about it and come to a conclusion. I still thought they were wrong.
However, I still had found nothing to encapsulate all the doubts I had, and satisfy me that my Agnosticism was merely a way of logically framing an inability to prove the non-existence of God. This fence-sitting has irked me for a number of years.
Thus, thank you Richard. The God Delusion has inspired me to embrace atheism. It gave me the rational and philosophical, nay scientific means to frame my non-belief and finally come out of the closet. I'd always felt this was the way I was meant to be. Now I can do so with the pride and conviction I had previously lacked. Years of intellectual wrangling are behind me and I'm all the better for it