Dear Dr. Dawkins and Converts' Corner
It seems that I too have recently come to the conclusion I have always been an Atheist. Much to the dismay of my parents and teachers I have always questioned anything that was not back with fact. This could have been a family trait however a Sunday school teacher during the 1950's fuelled my inquisitive nature by accident. This gentleman was a chemical salesman who began each Sunday lesson with a chemical experiment which caused intrigue to develop. The stories he related after each experiment seemed to be fairy tales and not based on fact.
To appease my mother I was confirmed in the Presbyterian Church at the age of 14. My father displayed no interest in religion except for cutting the church lawn every Saturday. I believe he adopted this secular position after his participation in WWII. Upon being confirmed I joined my father and performed our token religious obligation with a lawn mower. After my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness he never sought any form of help from the church.
During the early 1960's the term Atheist had a connotation that left a great deal to be desired. As a teenager I just chose to avoid religion and became invisible. My profession as a locomotive engineer afforded me the luxury of avoiding religious contact by working on Sundays and religious holidays. Sadly during my career I was involved in many accidents that resulted in loss of life. Numerous times the grieving would say it was gods will their family member was gone.
Shortly after retirement I suffered a serious medical dilemma with the prognosis leaving me a matter of weeks to live. At no time during the regular evening seizures did I ever request any religious intervention. I might have hoped for the end to occur quickly as I tired of the pain and all that followed. Almost like clockwork every evening representatives of different religions would come into the hospital to comfort the dying and trolling for possible conversions. For eight years I have evaded the initial prognosis and managed to avoid those religious salespersons.
In the following years I have managed to read a number of books on cosmology, astrology, and string theory, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism plus TGD. It seems that retirement has given me an appetite for knowledge as well as an open mind. My secular lifestyle compounded by facts and empirical evidence I have read and watched were adequate evidence to accept Atheism.
Mr. Dawkins your book The God Delusion (I look forward to reading your other books) and video speeches are the reason I have now embraced Atheism.