First off, I want to say Thank you!
I was raised Catholic and when it came time to make my confirmation I told my parents I wasn't sure I believed in God and didn't think it would be right to go through with it. They were not happy and claimed my grandparents (who were very religious) would be so disappointed. So, I did it for them.
After the fact I didn't think much about God and went on being a teenager filling my life with fun, not having the time to wonder. I went to church for Easter, Christmas, holidays when my parents asked me to, but never cared for listening about the stories I heard there. Years later, one day all of a sudden I thought about dying and it really scared me. I'd thought about it before and it never bothered me, but that day I felt cold and terrified of not existing. That made me think that I really don't believe in god. I mean, I didn't even consider an afterlife. From that day on I thought about dying everyday. I was hoping deep down that I would find some evidence for god existing, but when I tried to think it, I felt silly and started to wonder how anyone could truly believe it. A few days later is when a friend of mine was reading your book, The God Delusion, at work. I saw the title and got excited and asked her what it was. The next day I went out and bought it, along with Hitchens book God is not Great. (which I have now started)
Your book truly changed my life. I thought I was the odd one out. When I mentioned to my family that I thought I didn't believe in God they thought I was the crazy one. All I could think was that I knew there was nothing and instead of it scaring me this time, I felt comforted in the fact that I could understand now, why I didn't believe. You explained it in a way so I could grasp the truth about what religion really is, how it affects people and that it's ok to think realistic, in fact, it's them who are quite silly. Now, although the idea of death is still not appealing, I feel much more “okay” with it. I have turned my fear into wanting to learn more about the religion in the world and evolution. I find it sad, but fascinating that so much of the world believes this joke. It's become my new interest and I just ordered The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene. I'm halfway through your book The Greatest Show on Earth and I am amazed by this also. I've learned so much from you. I love how you explain what the religious believers say about evolution and then u defend it so easily, as it is hard evidence. I am so thankful that I discovered your work. It has really made me feel like I finally found a word for how I have been feeling all these years. I am an atheist, and I am proud to say it. I found comfort in understanding this now. This is the only life we get and I want to make it worthwhile.
Thank you again,