I wish to thank you deeply, as I'm sure many others have, regarding The God Delusion. It was first book I had read of yours, (reading of it in Derren Brown's “Tricks of the Mind”) and I was subsequently spellbound whilst reading Unweaving The Rainbow and Climbing Mount Improbable, and bowled over by logic in The Blind Watchmaker.
I have always been astounded with the lack of evidence regarding the organised religions' views of a personified god, but had never the eloquence nor ideas to support my claim against. Your book has not only supplied me with the knowledge and confidence to take on these pro-god arguments and dispel them (as best I can), but given me conviction enough in my belief of no 'god' to tell others and come out of the proverbial closet.
I recently watched the Q&A session at Lynchburg Virginia and felt an affinity with those who mention being 'in the closet' as I have certain religious family members (though fortunately not my parents). For reasons of not wishing to “rock the boat”, I had always held my tongue when we were to leave family occasions and such where I was to be subjected to a well-meant but personally offensive “good night and God bless.”
Being subjected to Christian beliefs during my primary schooling only fuelled the resentment I felt towards the idea of a god, but at such a young age I was lacking the vocabulary to say what I felt, or more importantly WHY I felt it. this was eased slightly in secondary school where I was fascinated with ethics, but not with it's counterpart (why?)… religious education.
I felt cheated by the fact that fellow students were exempt from R.E. because of their beliefs (I wish to add the named people were Jehovah's Witnesses), and I was not, despite my beliefs, meaning that I had to sit and listen to fables akin to that which one may be read at bedtime… aged 5.
The numerous times I challenged my lecturer on belief systems and god, or ethics and how people are able to arrive at sensible moral judgements without god telling them to, I was hounded for 'disrupting the lesson' often being ejected from the remainder of that session (which I might add was my secondary objective).
Not wanting to go on and bore you or your crack team of email readers, I shall end with the note that your books have not only helped me find the arguments I could never vocalise, but also enchanted me with the genuine beauty and complexity of life and the universe, expanding my vocabulary, and coming to the conclusion that there is not enough goodness and love in the world for us to go off posting it to imaginary friends.
So it's a thank you in order…
Thank you and please keep the RDFRT tirelessly hunting for truth worldwide.